AG Ken Paxton reaches $438.5 million settlement with JUUL
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 22: Packages of Juul e-cigarettes are displayed for sale in the Brazil Outlet shop on June 22, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reportedly preparing to order Juul Labs Inc. to remove its e-cigarette products from the U.S. market. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is announcing a $438.5 million settlement with JUUL Labs over the e-cigarette company’s marketing and sales practices.

A two-year bi-partisan investigation found that JUUL was willfully marketing its vaping products to youth, despite the fact that this demographic cannot legally purchase or use products containing nicotine. The investigation also found JUUL was becoming a dominant player in the vaping industry by using launch parties, advertisements using young models, social media posts and free samples. JUUL products were found to be easily concealed and often used flavors attractive to underage users. The company was also accused of using age verification techniques that it knew were not reliable.

“When I launched this investigation over two years ago, my goal was to make sure JUUL was held liable for any wrongdoing done in the past and ensure that they change direction to fully comply with the law going forward. This settlement helps accomplish both of those priorities,” said Attorney General Paxton. “My commitment to protecting consumers from deceptive business practices is unwavering, and any company that misleads Texans, especially our youth, will be held accountable for their actions.”

Paxton launched the investigation in 2020, along with the Attorneys General of Connecticut and Oregon. In a release, Paxton’s office says 34 states and territories were a part of the settlement.

Texas is scheduled to receive $42.8 million dollars over a period of six to 10 years. The agreement also includes strong marketing, sales and distribution guidelines, including restrictions on marketing to people under 35, limits on in-store displays and access, online sales limits, retail sales limits, age verification requirements on all sales, and a retail compliance check protocol.

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