AG Accuses JUUL of Targeting Youths

Attorney General Maura Healy last week filed suit against JUUL Labs, the e-cigarette manufacturer, claiming that it willfully advertised and sold nicotine products to children under the minimum legal sales age, and that it “bears responsibility for the fact that millions of young people nationwide are now addicted to e-cigarettes, reversing decades of progress in combatting underage tobacco and nicotine use and addiction.”
Healey said JUUL not only created suggestive advertising geared towards nicotine use, it bought ad space on websites frequented by teens such as teen.com and seventeen.com. The suit filed in Suffolk Superior Court says that JUUL “also directly sold its e-cigarettes to underage persons through its own ecommerce website … JUUL made more than ten thousand shipments of e-cigarettes to recipients and addresses in Massachusetts for which it conducted no age verification whatsoever. As a result, JUUL shipped its e-cigarettes directly to adolescents, including to individuals as young as sixteen years old.”
The suit asks for restitution to consumers “injured by JUUL’s unfair or deceptive acts or practices,” $5,000 for each of the numerous violations the company is alleged to have made against the state’s Consumer Protection Act; and “reimbursement to the Commonwealth for expenses incurred abating the nuisance of youth nicotine addiction.” Healey said that because JUUL “created a public health emergency of e-cigarette addiction among underage Massachusetts consumers … the Commonwealth seeks to hold JUUL accountable for the costs the Commonwealth has and will incur in combating the public health crisis JUUL created.”