North Carolina Attorney General Joshua Stein filed a lawsuit on May 15 against Juul Labs, reports The Washington Post.
The suit alleges that Juul caused addiction in consumers by “deceptively downplaying the potency and danger of the nicotine” and employed advertising campaigns that targeted people under the legal smoking age.
Currently the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines restrict the sale of fruit or candy flavors in stores, allowing menthol, tobacco and mint to be sold. North Carolina’s request would take mint off the market, in addition to other popular flavors like mango and cucumber.
North Carolina is also asking the court to apply a marketing and advertising ban that mimics that of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. It would prevent Juul from creating emails, advertising or social media marketing aimed at minors. It would also block Juul from advertising outdoors and near schools or playgrounds, sponsoring “sports, entertainment, or charity events,” offering free or discounted samples, or promoting products with fashion or media outlets that primarily target consumers under 30.
“Addicting a new generation of teenagers is unacceptable, illegal and that’s why I’m taking action,” Stein told The Washington Post. “This is about a company that is selling its product predominantly to [youth]. There has to be some limitation on the way they do business.”