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Juul’s Cash Comes and Goes

Juul Labs is having to pay $438.5 million in an agreed settlement but is also suing the Food and Drug Administration

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Juul Labs is having to pay $438.5 million in an agreed settlement but is also suing the Food and Drug Administration. The settlement must be made after a collection of US attorney-generals said the company had marketed its products to underage users. Juul has announced its intention to sue the Food and Drug Administration for its refusal to release documents supporting its marketing banning order.

Juul Labs will have to pay $438.5 million to 34 states over a period lasting up to ten years. The company has also had to promise that it won’t use cartoon images in its media or online advertisements or carry out any other activity that could be construed as marketing to teenagers.

The Oregon Department of Justice said that Juul Labs “wilfully engaged in an advertising campaign that appealed to youth, even though its e-cigarettes are both illegal for them to purchase and unhealthy for children."

The Department added that Juul Labs, “relentlessly marketed to underage users with launch parties, advertisements using young and trendy-looking models, social media posts and free samples," and used age verification processes “that it knew were ineffective”.

Ellen Rosenblum, the Attorney General for Oregon, said that Juul Labs’ conduct had been “reprehensible”.

She added: “[It] demonstrates pure corporate greed at its most damaging. Just when we were starting to make serious progress reducing tobacco use among our young people, Juul came along and hooked another generation.”

Juul Labs commented: “This settlement with 34 states and territories is a significant part of our ongoing commitment to resolve issues from the past. The terms of the agreement are aligned with our current business practices which we started to implement after our company-wide reset in the Fall of 2019. With today’s announcement, we have settled with 37 states and Puerto Rico, and appreciate efforts by Attorneys General to deploy resources to combat underage use.

“We remain focused on the future as we work to fulfill [sic] our mission to transition adult smokers away from cigarettes – the number one cause of preventable death – while combating underage use. We recently submitted an administrative appeal, based on science and evidence, to FDA, demonstrating that its marketing denial order (MDO) of our products was substantively and procedurally flawed and should be rescinded. We believe that once the FDA does a complete review of all of [sic] the science and evidence presented, as required by law, and without political interference, we should receive marketing authorization. As we go through the FDA’s administrative appeals process, we continue to offer our products to adult smokers throughout the U.S.”

Then, on Wednesday, Juul Labs announced it planned to sue the Food and Drug Administration because it had refused to release the documents giving the reasons for banning the company from marketing its vape products.

Juul Labs said: “The public deserves a complete picture of the scientific facts behind one of the agency's most controversial and closely scrutinised decisions in recent years.”


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Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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