Hawaii is suing the nation’s largest e-cigarette maker JUUL Labs and Altria Group, its largest shareholder and parent company of Philip Morris, saying the companies used misleading marketing to entice young customers.
“In marketing their e-cigarettes to Hawaii’s children, these companies ripped pages directly out of the tobacco-company playbook and resurrected Joe Camel for a 21st Century audience,” said Attorney General Connors in a statement. “By misrepresenting nicotine content and by presenting their products as healthy alternatives to cigarettes, they deceived the public and created a new generation of nicotine addicts.”
The lawsuit alleges the companies violated Hawaii’s Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices Law and names executives and directors in the suit. It also alleges the companies downplayed the risks involved with using e-cigarette and vaping products.
Federal data show that Hawaii has among the highest vaping rates among middle schoolers and high schoolers in the U.S.
Hawaii joins the ranks of several other states that have sued Juul in recent months, including New York and California.
Eleni Gill/Civil Beat