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Arizona Attorney General sues vaping company Juul Labs

Christian Fernsby |
Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced that his office filed a Consumer Fraud lawsuit against Juul Labs, Inc., regarding the advertisement and sale of JUUL’s vaping devices and vaping pods to Arizonans, including JUUL's exploitative marketing towards Arizona’s youth.

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The lawsuit was filed Tuesday morning in Maricopa County Superior Court.

The United States Surgeon General has described youth e-cigarette use as an “epidemic,” and the former United States Food and Drug Administration Commissioner has pointed to JUUL as a significant cause of the problem. Youth vaping now dramatically outpaces youth cigarette use nationally and in Arizona.

"JUUL updated Big Tobacco's playbook and helped create the perfect storm for a new youth epidemic. JUUL enticed interested minors through advertising, lured kids in with flavored vaping products, and then hooked a new generation of youth to addictive nicotine.

"Vaping companies that engage in irresponsible and misleading marketing efforts must be held accountable for exposing Arizona youth to nicotine and the addiction that follows,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

“Great strides have been made to dramatically reduce youth smoking and access to nicotine products in the past twenty years. Up until recently, our office has seen the fail rate of illegal tobacco and nicotine-based product sales to youth statewide drop below ten percent for the first time in part thanks to our retail enforcement efforts.

"However, the recent vaping explosion among youth is a clear sign that this positive trend is now swinging dramatically in the wrong direction."

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office’s lawsuit alleges that JUUL engaged in deceptive and unfair acts and practices, including:

- Appealing to, targeting, misleading, and exploiting young people with tactics such as fruit flavors, social media campaigns, and free giveaways;

- Failing to take steps to prevent underage purchase and distribution; and

- Misleading consumers about the nicotine content in JUUL’s products.

The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief against JUUL, disgorgement of profits, and penalties of up to $10,000 for each willful violation of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.

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