Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a suit against vapor manufacturer Juul Labs last week, alleging the company designed its products to appeal to underage consumers, and was deceptive in the addictiveness of its product.
Ferguson alleges that by “pushing unfair and deceptive marketing strategies appealing to youth,” Juul’s e-cigarettes fueled a “staggering rise in vaping among teens,” according to a story on komonews.com.
“Upon the launch of the device, the company flooded social media with colorful ads of young-looking models and pushed fruit and dessert flavored products,” Ferguson wrote in the filing. “At the same time, Juul vehemently denied it marketed to underage users — echoing unlawful strategies used by major cigarette corporations in decades past.”
Ferguson also claimed Juul mislead consumers by avoiding mentioning that their cigarette pods contained nicotine in their initial marketing, only complying in 2018 when the federal government required disclosure. His office quotes a survey from 2018 indicating 63 percent of Juul users from between 15-24 years old didn’t know their products contained nicotine.
In addition, the state alleges Juul failed to meet the state’s vapor product licensing requirements meaning every sale of a Juul device from August 2016 through 2018 is considered illegal.
Ferguson didn’t say what specific damages he was seeking.