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Juul to cover $439 million to stay youth marketing probe, states say

E-cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs decided to pay $438.5 million to 33 states and Puerto Rico to stay a two-year probe in to the company’s marketing and sales practices, the attorneys general of Connecticut and Texas announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: The investigation, led by Connecticut, Oregon and Texas, revealed that Juul willfully engaged “within an marketing campaign that appealed to youth, despite the fact that its e-cigarettes are both illegal to allow them to purchase and unhealthy for youth to utilize,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said.

  • The settlement resolves one among the countless investigations and lawsuits against Juul.

What they’re saying: “They relentlessly marketed vaping products to underage youth, manipulated their chemical composition to be palatable to inexperienced users, employed an inadequate age verification process, and misled consumers concerning the nicotine content and addictiveness of its products,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a statement.

  • “When I launched this investigation over 2 yrs ago, my goal was to be sure JUUL happened responsible for any wrongdoing done before and make sure that they change direction to totally comply with regulations in the years ahead. This settlement helps accomplish both of these priorities, Paxton said in a statement.

By the numbers: Texas will receive $42.8 million of the $438.5 million, while Connecticut will get a the least $16.2 million paid by Juul over an interval of six to a decade.

  • The others will undoubtedly be divided between Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, NJ, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, SC, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The picture as a whole: Juul specifically has been blamed for a national upsurge in teen vaping that’s coincided with reversed declines in tobacco use, Axios’ Arielle Dreher reports.

  • Juul may also need to “severely” reform its marketing and sales practices, partly by refraining from offering free samples, depicting people under age 35 in marketing, and funding education programs, per the agreement.

Go deeper: FDA temporarily pauses ban on Juul e-cigarette sales

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