BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts sued electronic cigarette giant Juul Labs Inc. on Wednesday, accusing the company of deliberating targeting young people through its marketing campaigns.
Attorney General Maura Healey’s office said the nation’s biggest e-cigarette maker is responsible for “creating a youth vaping epidemic” with deceptive advertising tactics designed to lure in teen users.
“Our message today is simple: Juul cant profit off the addiction of young people,” Healey said.
Healey announced her investigation into Juul in July 2018 and asked the company to turn over documents to determine whether it was tracking underage use of its products and whether its marketing practices were intentionally driving its popularity among young people.
I made a commitment to parents and teens to hold e-cigarette companies accountable. Today, we have uncovered new info about how JUUL targeted and sold its addictive products to kids.
This company created the youth vaping epidemic. They cannot profit from it. We are suing JUUL. pic.twitter.com/JfQR6Qz9PP
— Maura Healey (@MassAGO) February 12, 2020
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In November, the American Heart Association announced an aggressive, three-pronged initiative involving research, policy advocacy and youth activation intended to urgently address the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use. The initiative, launched as 1 in 4 high school students nationwide report using e-cigarettes, has three central components:
- A new $20 million research investment, called the End the Lies Youth Vaping and Nicotine Research Initiative, which will focus urgently on the impact of vaping and nicotine use on youth, funding two or three scientists who will work intensely over the next two years to address the fact that there is no knowledge about the long-term health effects in youth;
- An aggressive, nationwide youth, school and community engagement and awareness campaign, dubbed #QuitLying, (QuitLying.org) designed to hold e-cigarette companies publicly accountable for their lies; and
- An impactful, multi-year fund dedicated to public policy change at all levels of government to prevent youth vaping and nicotine addiction, with foundational support from Kaiser Permanente.