CHICAGO - Attorney General Kwame Raoul today, along with six other attorneys general, announced a $462 million settlement with Juul Labs Inc. (Juul), one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of e-cigarettes. The settlement provides critical injunctive relief to prevent Juul from marketing and selling its products to youth. In 2019, Illinois was among the first states in the nation to sue Juul alleging the company marketed its harmful nicotine products to minors. Attorney General Raoul’s office co-led negotiations resulting in the largest settlement any states have reached with Juul to hold the company accountable for contributing to the youth vaping epidemic. Illinois will receive approximately $67.6 million under the agreement.
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“Juul has intentionally targeted minors for the sale of its e-cigarettes. After inappropriately marketing its product as a smoking cessation device, Juul products actually served as a gateway to cigarette use for youth who had never smoked before,” Raoul said. “This settlement is a step toward holding Juul accountable, and I am committed to continuing to partner with advocates, lawmakers, and state and federal regulators to enact policies that protect minors from e-cigarettes and other addictive tobacco products.”
The settlement resolves Raoul’s 2019 lawsuit, as well as lawsuits filed by six other states against Juul. Raoul’s office co-led negotiations, especially those centered around obtaining injunctive relief, resulting in a settlement with Juul that includes the most stringent restrictions under any state settlement on Juul’s marketing, sales and distribution practices to protect and prevent minors from underage smoking. The settlement’s injunctive provisions also bind JUUL’s former directors and executives.
Specifically, Raoul’s settlement includes the following:
- Juul shall not take any action that directly or indirectly targets youth within Illinois in the promotion of its products.
- Juul shall not use social media influencers to promote its products.
- Juul must require consumers to be age verified at the first point of access to its website before the consumer can view any content.
- Juul shall not promote products in any media unless 85% or more of the individuals comprising the audience of the media are 21 and older.
- Juul shall not use billboards in Illinois.
- Juul shall not include anyone in its marketing distribution lists who is not age verified.
- Juul shall not sell Juul Pods at a nominal price.
- Any statement about the nicotine content of Juul’s products in any promotional materials must disclose the amount of nicotine measured by both weight and volume.
- Juul shall not in any promotional materials make a claim that its products are safer or healthier than combustible cigarettes or smoking cessation devices, unless the company receives written authorization from the FDA to make such claims or representations.
- Juul must maintain a retailer compliance program that includes specific requirements, checks and consequences for compliance failures.
The settlement requires that documents produced by Juul and the other defendants be made public through a document repository. Juul is also required to pay up to $5 million for the costs of the repository.
Today’s agreement is part of Attorney General Raoul’s ongoing work to combat the dramatic increase in youth e-cigarette use and hold e-cigarette manufacturers accountable for epidemic usage levels among youth and teens. In 2021, the Illinois Legislature passed Raoul’s legislation that prohibits companies from marketing e-cigarettes to minors, misleading advertising and the sale of adulterated e-cigarettes. In 2020, Raoul entered into a consent decree with Juice Man LLC to resolve a lawsuit filed by Raoul over allegations the company developed and marketed its products to attract minors. The consent decree effectively prohibits the company from operating in the state of Illinois. Additionally, Raoul has urged the FDA to ban flavored tobacco products and to strengthen e-cigarette guidance by prioritizing enforcement actions against flavored e-cigarettes.
For more information and free resources to help quit tobacco, please visit the Illinois Tobacco Quitline website or call 1-866-QUIT-YES.
Joining Attorney General Raoul in the settlement with Juul are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Mexico and New York.
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