JUUL announced on September 6, 2022, a tentative deal to pay nearly $440 million to settle a two-year, multi-state investigation into its underage marketing practices to attract young consumers to its addictive e-cigarettes. Tobacco giant Altria — which owns a majority stake in the company — is part of industry with a long history of skirting regulation to addict generation after generation to its deadly products.
The following is a statement from American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) President Lisa Lacasse:
“This settlement across 33 states and Puerto Rico is evidence that JUUL intentionally preyed upon young consumers with the sole goal of addicting a generation that had the potential to be the first tobacco-free generation. JUUL entered the market early, commanding a substantial share of the market, and was largely responsible for the surge in youth e-cigarette use and the growth in the percentage of youth who have become addicted to e-cigarettes—an epidemic which continues to this day.
“ACS CAN congratulates the attorneys general for pursuing action against a company that put profits over public health. The settlement provides even more evidence that these products should not be on the market and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should implement its denial of their marketing orders. Additionally, if states prioritize the settlement money for tobacco control, that funding could play a key role in helping to address the lasting impact of the e-cigarette epidemic. Specifying those dollars for fact-based tobacco control programs in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Best Practices in all the states will be critical as we’ve seen misappropriation of funds from the Master Settlement Agreement, with states repurposing funds for unrelated purposes, while the impact of decades of tobacco industry lies and deceit persist in so many communities.
“The persistent and ongoing impact of tobacco addiction requires continued and robust efforts to advance evidence-based tobacco control policies, including FDA action to implement marketing denial orders on Juul products, eliminate all flavors in all tobacco products as well as state and local restrictions on sale of products. While the settlement addresses JUUL’s early and unconscionable influence over youth, proliferation of other products is compounding the ongoing e-cigarette epidemic, not to mention the continued use of combustible tobacco products which remain a leading cause of preventable cancer related death. ACS CAN will continue to advocate for evidence-based tobacco control policies at the federal, state and local levels.”