Juul Agrees to Pay $438.5 Million Settlement for Lawsuit

Juul Agrees to Pay $438.5 Million Settlement for Lawsuit
Juul Labs to pay $438.5 million to settle lawsuit accusing the company of marketing to minors.

On the morning of September 7th (Beijing time), it was reported that several states in the United States announced that electronic cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs has agreed to pay $438.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by 34 states and regions in the US. The lawsuit accused Juul of underestimating the risks of its own products and targeting underage consumers.

As part of the settlement agreement, Juul has agreed to scale back certain marketing measures, including animated ads, product placements, and targeting users under the age of 35. This settlement stems from a two-year investigation led by Connecticut, Texas, and Oregon.

Juul has not admitted to any wrongdoing, referring to the settlement agreement as a "significant effort to address historical issues." The company also stated that the marketing restrictions are in line with measures taken since its 2019 "company-wide reset" in response to regulatory pressures. At that time, Juul removed most e-cigarette flavors from the market and ceased advertising in many outlets.

Juul has previously settled similar lawsuits with the states of Arizona, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Washington. However, some states including New York, California, Massachusetts, and Illinois are still pursuing legal action against the company. Additionally, thousands of local governments and individuals in the United States have also filed suits against Juul, with many of them consolidated into a lawsuit in the federal court in San Francisco.

The first trial related to the case will be held in November, with the plaintiff being a school district in San Francisco. The second trial is scheduled for January next year, with the plaintiff being a family in Tennessee whose teenage child is addicted to Juul e-cigarettes.

In June of this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) briefly banned the sale of electronic cigarettes, but suspended the ban after an appeal by Juul and agreed to reconsider the matter.

However, in July of this year, Altria Group, the parent company of Marlboro cigarettes, stated that their 35% stake in Juul is currently valued at only $450 million due to concerns in the market that Juul may not ultimately receive approval. This is significantly lower than its value of $12.8 billion in March of 2018.

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