Attorney General Maura Healey announced yesterday that her office has sued Juul Labs Inc. for creating a youth vaping epidemic by intentionally marketing and selling its e-cigarettes to young people. Based on multiple depositions and hundreds of thousands of pages of company documents, AG Healey’s lawsuit reveals new facts that have not previously been made public about Juul’s youth-oriented advertising campaign in 2015.
In a lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court today against Juul Labs Inc. and its predecessor entity Pax Labs Inc. (together, “Juul”), the AG’s Office alleges that the company illegally advertised and sold nicotine products to underage youth and created an epidemic of nicotine addiction among young people. The lawsuit demands that Juul pay for the costs associated with combating this public health crisis affecting young people across Massachusetts, according to a press release.
“Juul is responsible for the millions of young people nationwide who are addicted to e-cigarettes, reversing decades of progress in combating underage tobacco and nicotine use,” said AG Healey. “Our lawsuit sheds new light on the company’s intent to target young people, and we are going to make them pay for the public health crisis they caused in Massachusetts.”
AG Healey was the first attorney general to announce an investigation into Juul in July 2018. Today’s lawsuit provides the first real window into Juul’s original marketing plan, and shows that Juul intentionally chose models and images that appealed to young people, that the company advertised its products on websites geared toward kids, and that Juul shipped e-cigarettes to underage youth who ordered them directly from Juul online.