Juul to pay $40 million to settle NC vaping lawsuit

E-cigarette company Juul will pay $40 million to settle a lawsuit in North Carolina for allegedly marketing their products to children, state Attorney General Josh Stein (D) announced Monday.

It’s a landmark deal, as North Carolina becomes the first state to settle with the company. Stein in May 2019 was the first state attorney general to sue the company for its role in the unprecedented surge in youth vaping. Juul is now facing lawsuits in at least a dozen other states.

Juul did not admit to any wrongdoing or liability as part of the settlement, but it did agree to change some aspects of how it does business in the state. Under the terms of the deal, Juul’s products must be sold behind the counter at shops, and the company is not allowed to use any individual under the age of 35 in its marketing and promotional materials. The $40 million will be paid over the next six years and will fund programs to help people quit e-cigarettes, prevent e-cigarette addiction, and research e-cigarettes.

“For years, Juul targeted young people, including teens, with its highly addictive e-cigarette. It lit the spark and fanned the flames of a vaping epidemic among our children — one that you can see in any high school in North Carolina,” Stein said in a statement.

Next up: Stein also sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration, calling for additional action to ban all non-tobacco flavors, including menthol. Vaping companies are also awaiting a decision from the FDA about whether their products can remain on the market at all. The agency has a deadline of early September to make a decision, but it’s not clear if it will be met.