Bipartisan Coalition Looking into JUUL’s Targeting of Youth Vaping

February 25, 2020
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Attorney General Rosenblum today joined her leadership team, the Attorneys General of Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, and Texas, to announce a bipartisan, multistate investigation into JUUL Labs. The 39-state multistate coalition is investigating JUUL’s marketing and sales practices, including targeting of youth, claims regarding nicotine content, and statements regarding risks, safety and effectiveness as a smoking cessation device.

“I have long been concerned about how JUUL targets children with their sleek devices and marketing practices. They have almost singled handily gotten a whole new generation of teens hooked on tobacco. JUUL’s aggressive advertising has significantly contributed to a public health crisis in Oregon and across the country. I am proud that my office has taken a lead role in this investigation, and we will work with the coalition to make sure JUUL is held accountable for their actions,” said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

Available statistics about the increasing use of e-cigarettes by youth bear out the seriousness of this crisis: In 2019, 1 in 4 high school students and 1 in 10 middle school students in the US reported that they had vaped with electronic cigarettes in the past 30 days.

“Connecticut’s investigation into JUUL is active and expanding. Our state, along with Florida, Nevada, Oregon and Texas, is now leading a bipartisan, 39-state coalition investigating JUUL’s marketing and sales practices, including efforts by the company to market their nicotine delivery devices to youth. We are also looking at claims made by JUUL regarding nicotine content and statements they have made regarding the risks, safety and effectiveness as a smoking cessation tool,” said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong. “I will not prejudge where this investigation will lead, but we will follow every fact and are prepared to take strong action in conjunction with states across the nation to protect public health.”

“We have an epidemic of underaged vaping, not just in Florida, but nationwide. As Florida’s Attorney General and a mother, I cannot sit on the sidelines while this public health epidemic grows, and our next generation becomes addicted to nicotine. That is why we are acting with a sense of urgency in Florida and stepping up to help lead the multistate investigation into JUUL’s role in the underaged vaping epidemic,” said Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.

“Preying on children and those looking for help to quit smoking is the one of the most despicable examples of risking people’s lives for corporate profit,” said Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford. “I’m proud my office is taking a leadership role in this multistate investigation to get to the bottom of JUUL’s marketing and sales practices. Anyone found risking the health and safety of Nevadans, especially our children, will answer for their deception.”

“I am pleased to be working alongside other states to determine whether any of JUUL’s statements or business practices mislead or otherwise harmed consumers,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. “Protecting Texans from deceptive business practices is a high priority for my office, and I am committed to holding companies accountable for the quality, effects, and marketing of their products.”

Attorney General Rosenblum is also asking the Oregon legislature this year to ban the sale of e-cigarettes over the internet. Oregon HB 4078 would make it illegal for any online retailer to sell e-cigarettes over the internet, which is an easy way for minors to get around age verification practices. Earlier this month, AG Rosenblum testified before the Oregon legislature: “Internet sales historically have allowed minors relatively easy access to tobacco. No matter how much so-called “proof” is required to make a purchase online, remote sellers just cannot adequately verify the age or identity of remote purchasers. Neither can they verify that their products are being delivered to people who are old enough to legally use them. This legislation is an important step in reducing youth access to these deadly products.”

The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) is led by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, and serves as the state’s law firm. The Oregon DOJ advocates for and protects all Oregonians, especially the most vulnerable, such as children and seniors.