OLYMPIA, Wash. — Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit Wednesday against e-cigarette company JUUL, alleging it violated the Consumer Protection Act by marketing to minors.
The lawsuit asserts that the company violated the act by designing and marketing its products to “appeal to underage consumers and deceiving consumers about the addictiveness of the product.”
“Pushing unfair and deceptive marketing strategies appealing to youth, the company fueled a staggering rise in vaping among teens. JUUL’s conduct reversed decades of progress fighting nicotine addiction, and they must be held accountable,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson also asserts that JUUL failed to meet Washington’s tobacco vapor product licensing requirements.
“From August 2016 until April 2018, every sale of a JUUL device in Washington was unlawful,” a press release alleges.
According to the release, the marketing to underage users was successful - the release states that e-cigarette use among teenagers skyrocketed. By 2019, one in 10 middle schoolers nationwide use e-cigarettes, it says.
Ferguson’s lawsuit claims the company committed tens of thousands violations of the Consumer Protection Act. Specifically, he asserts the following:
- Every product JUUL sold without disclosing nicotine content on the package;
- Every “Vaporized” ad targeting youth;
- Every product JUUL sold unlawfully without the appropriate license.
The act allows a maximum penalty of $2,000 per violations.
In addition, the lawsuit asks the court to order JUUL to stop its unlawful marketing tactics.
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