Florida attorney general's lawsuit claims Juul improperly marketed to children
According to the lawsuit, filed in Hillsborough County, the state seeks civil penalties and an injunction to prevent Juul from “targeting children" and "deceiving consumers with respect to the nicotine concentration.”
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against e-cigarette company Juul Labs, alleging it improperly marketed to children and offered misleading information about nicotine content in its products.
Moody’s office filed the lawsuit in Hillsborough County circuit court, seeking civil penalties and an injunction to prevent Juul from “targeting children through their marketing and product design, and from deceiving consumers with respect to the nicotine concentration.”
The lawsuit alleges Juul violated a law known as the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
“Juul relentlessly marketed to underage users with launch parties, advertisements using trendy-looking and young models, social media posts, and free samples,” the lawsuit said. “It created a technology-focused, sleek design that could be easily concealed and sold its product in flavors known to be attractive to underage users. Juul also manipulated the chemical composition of its product to make the vapor less harsh on the throats of the young and inexperienced consumers it courted. To preserve its young customer base, Juul relied on age-verification techniques that it knew were ineffective.”
Juul responded by saying Moody had decided against participating in a settlement between the company and 48 states and territories and pointing to steps the company has taken, “including ceasing distribution of non-tobacco, non-menthol products in advance of FDA (Food and Drug Administration) guidance on flavors, halting mass market product advertising, and restructuring our entire company with an emphasis on combating underage use. In part, due to these efforts, we have seen underage use of Juul products cut by 95%.”