Illinois has filed a Juul lawsuit, alleging that the e-cigarette company Juul Labs Inc. engaged in deceptive marketing practices.
Juul Lawsuit Alleges Company Misled Consumers
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed the state’s Juul lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County on December 12, 2019. Attorneys general from North Carolina, California, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, and the District of Columbia have already sued the e-cigarette manufacturer.
Like the earlier suits, Raoul’s Juul lawsuit alleges that the company’s marketing practices misled consumers about whether its products provided a safer alternative to smoking and about their nicotine levels, creating products with a much higher nicotine content than had been previously seen in e-cigarettes and downplaying it. The lawsuit further claims that Juul used a “substandard age-verification system” in its online store to make it easier for teens to buy its products. All seven of the lawsuits also argue that Juul deliberately targeted its products to minors, comparing the company’s marketing tactics to earlier advertising by Big Tobacco.
Arguing that the Juul lawsuit aims to hold the company “accountable for its role in the youth e-cigarette epidemic,” Raoul writes that “the government eventually regulated the tactics that Big Tobacco relied on to appeal to youth with remarkable results. Now, a new class of products has changed all that by successfully adopting Big Tobacco’s tactics for the 21st [c]entury, with [d]efendant JUUL Labs Inc. (JUUL) leading the way.”
Improperly Marketed as “Modified-Risk Tobacco Products”
Raoul’s Juul lawsuit also cites a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products to the company. That warning letter accuses Juul of marketing its products as “modified-risk tobacco products” without getting the required FDA approval. The FDA defines “modified-risk tobacco products” as being less harmful than other commercially marketed tobacco products.
In the Juul lawsuit, Raoul is seeking a civil penalty of $50,000.00 for each deceptive or unfair practice or act and an additional $50,000.00 for every practice or act committed with the intent to defraud.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of Dec. 4, 48 vaping illness deaths have been confirmed in 25 states and the District of Columbia, including five deaths in Illinois. There have also been 2,291 cases associated with lung injury by e-cigarette or vape users in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two United States territories.
Have You Been Hurt by a Defective Product?
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