Wisconsin to receive over $14 million from JUUL settlement
MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin is set to get a payout after e-cigarette maker JUUL Labs agreed to a settlement Tuesday.
The $438.5 million agreement comes after a two-year investigation by 33 states and territories into how the company marketed and sold its products. Specifically, states raised concerns about advertising that appealed to teens and alleged that the company used age verification techniques that they knew did not work.
Wisconsin will receive $14.4 million from the settlement, Attorney General Josh Kaul announced. JUUL will also have to adhere to strict marketing and sales terms.
“Targeting youth for e-cigarette sales is appalling,” Kaul said in a statement. “This agreement brings accountability for JUUL’s conduct.”
Wisconsin Department of Justice officials said that JUUL deliberately used launch parties, advertisements, social media posts and free samples that were aimed at teenagers, and sold its products in flavors that would attract young people. Officials also said that the product’s original packaging did not clearly disclose that it contained nicotine.
Officials said that JUUL misled customers and misrepresented the e-cigarette as a smoking cessation device without approval from the FDA.
The settlement is set to be paid out over a six-to-ten-year period, however, if JUUL extends the pay period up to ten years, the settlement would rise to $476.6 million.
The company will have limits on how the product is displayed and accessed in stores and limits on online and retail sales. All sales of JUUL products will require age verification, and the company will be subject to a retail compliance check protocol.
As part of the settlement, JUUL will no longer:
- Engage in youth marketing
- Fund education programs
- Depict people younger than 35 in marketing
- Use cartoons in marketing
- Use paid product placement
- Sell brand name merchandise
- Sell flavors not approved by FDA
- Allow access to company websites without age verification on the landing page
- Make representations about nicotine not approved by FDA
- Make misleading representations about nicotine content
- Agree to sponsorship or naming rights
- Advertise in outlets unless 85% of the audience are adults
- Advertise on billboards
- Advertise on public transportation
- Advertise on social media, except for testimonials by people over the age of 35, and ads cannot make health claims
- Use paid influencers
- Use direct-to-consumer ads unless the consumer is age-verified
- Offer free samples
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