Popular e-cigarette maker Juul intentionally and egregiously tailored its marketing to appeal to underage youth, according to a lawsuit filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on February 12. The company’s early marketing in 2015 and 2016 purposefully used young, “cool” models in its launch campaign, recruited teen “influencers” on social media, and bought banner and video advertisements on numerous websites aimed at teens and children, including Cartoon Network’s cartoonnetwork.com and Nickelodeon’s sites Nick.com and NickJr.com. Juul even went so far as to give advice to underage consumers over email on how to get around age restrictions to make online purchases of the company’s e-cigarettes.
The lawsuit lands as public health officials across the nation are still grappling with an explosion in e-cigarette use by youth, which the Food and Drug Administration has referred to as an “epidemic.” Between 2011 and 2019, recent use of e-cigarettes by middle schoolers increased from 0.6 percent to 10.5 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For high schoolers, use increased from 1.5 percent to 27.5 percent in that timeframe. That means that by 2019, more than 1 in every 4 high school students said they had used e-cigarettes within the last 30-days from the time of the survey.
I really hope that there are criminal prosecutions int he future, but I doubt it.
They will just pay some fines, and it will be considered a cost of doing business.