Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti announced Wednesday that his office filed a Complaint and Assurance of Voluntary Compliance relating to the state’s multi-million dollar settlement with electronic cigarette maker JUUL Labs, Inc.
“JUUL was, until recently, the dominant player in the vaping market. The multistate investigation revealed that JUUL rose to this position by willfully engaging in an advertising campaign that appealed to youth, even though its e-cigarettes are both illegal for minors to purchase and are unhealthy for minors to use,” Attorney General Skrmetti’s office wrote in a press release.
Tennessee is one of 34 states that will share nearly $435 million in the settlement with JUUL. Tennessee will receive approximately $13 million from the settlement, according to Skrmetti’s office.
In 2020, under former Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III, Tennessee joined a multi-state investigation into JUUL’s activities, which resulted in the company recently settling with the participating parties over allegations that it knowingly marketed and sold its products to minors.
Skrmetti’s filing of the Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) additionally ensures JUUL won’t engage in harmful or deceptive marketing practices in the future.
In accordance with the provisions of the AVC, JUUL has agreed to refrain from a number of marketing and selling tactics, including marketing towards youth; advertising on billboards; advertising through the use of cartoons; and others, according to Skrmetti’s office.
“JUUL tailored their product and advertisements to minors, thus luring them into vaping and, in some cases, nicotine addiction,” Press Secretary Elizabeth Lane said in a statement. “The company is paying for that misconduct. The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office appreciates the collaboration among our bipartisan group of attorneys general to hold JUUL accountable and stop their deceptive and harmful marketing practices.”
Additionally, the AVC includes sales and distribution restrictions, including restrictions on which stores can display/access the products, online sales limits, retail sales limits, and age verification protocols on all sales, Skrmetti’s office notes.
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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “JUUL Stick” by Vaping360. CC BY 2.0.