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Arizona attorney general brokers $14.5M settlement with vape company JUUL

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office on Tuesday announced a $14.5 million settlement with a popular e-cigarette maker. Mark Brnovich filed a deceptive practices lawsuit against JUUL in January 2020.

According to the AG, “JUUL marketed its highly-addictive nicotine products to appeal to and target young people while misleading them on the risks associated with those products.” It also alleged that JUUL did nothing to prevent the sale of its products to minors and “misled all consumers regarding its products’ true nicotine concentration.”

More than $12 million of JUUL’s $14.5 million payment to Arizona is earmarked for programs designed to stop youth vaping. The company also agreed to change its business practices, including not marketing its products to people younger than 21, not using people younger than 30 in its social media campaigns, requiring its products to be in locked display cases in stores, and not selling flavored products without approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

“This settlement is another step in our ongoing effort to reset our company and we applaud the Attorney General’s plan to deploy resources to address underage use,” a spokesperson for JUUL told Arizona’s Family. “We will continue working with federal and state stakeholders to advance a fully regulated, science-based marketplace for vapor products. As part of that process, we will continue to support Tobacco 21 and enforcement against illicit and illegally marketed products, such as certain disposables, that jeopardize the harm reduction potential of alternative vapor products.”

Over the summer, JUUL settled with North Carolina for $40 million. The state sued the company in 2019. Both the suit and the settlement are similar to what eventually happened here in Arizona.

JUUL is not the only vaping company Brnovich has gone after. When he filed suit against JUUL, he also took on New Jersey-based Eonsmoke, as well. The allegations were the same. “[JUUL and Eonsmoke] have contributed to the vaping epidemic and have created additional problems for youth around our state,” he said at the time.

In August 2020, he got a $22.5 million judgment against Eonsmoke. The company, which did not put up any defense, had already shut down, blaming “rapidly declining circumstances, coronavirus, regulatory, and competitor litigations.”