Believing that JUUL Labs has violated Pennsylvania's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection laws, Attorney General Shapiro announced on Monday that his office will be filing a lawsuit against the vape product company. The lawsuit accuses the company of targeting young people specifically with their products, among other complaints.
If the Attorney General's office succeeds in suing JUUL, the company would be required to stop selling their products in Pennsylvania.
Aside from the claim that JUUL has gone out of their way to target young people by pushing products with "kid-friendly" flavors, the lawsuit also alleges that the vape liquid sold by JUUL is chemically altered to increase the absorption rate and quantity of nicotine in their products and that the company rushed products to the market before providing sufficient proof of the safety of using their products.
In addition, the complaint asserts that the company did not disclose the health risks of JUUL products.
During the announcement of the lawsuit, AG Shapiro had this to say:
“JUUL knowingly targeted young people with tactics similar to the tobacco companies' playbook. There is no proof these e-cigarettes are safe and until there is, we need to get JUUL products off shelves and out of the hands of young people.
JUUL manipulated data to deceive consumers about the nicotine content of its products. First JUUL estimated their products delivered substantially more nicotine than its competitors in a patent, and then doubled back to say the products were comparable to an average cigarette.
They disregarded their growing audience of young users, taking no action, as their profit margins skyrocketed on the backs of American kids.”
The text of the lawsuit says that JUUL has "deliberately and cynically" marketed their product to young people, and that about 28% of American middle and high school students use e-cigarettes. JUUL's marketing tactics are also described as deceptive, and uses the company's focus on social media advertising to further claim that the company has been targeting youths.
Attorney General Shapiro is asking the Court to, among other things, take JUUL devices out of production altogether. If the Court does not agree, the Attorney General’s office is asking the Court impose restrictions on the way the JUUL product is designed, marketed, and sold, and to require the company to pay for youth-oriented prevention programs, public health research, and nicotine cessation programs.