Oklahoma to receive settlement from JUUL

JUUL has finally resolved the lawsuits from several states and Oklahoma is set to receive part of the payout.

The company JUUL has been under investigation for about two years now for the way that they market their products to a younger audience, mainly teenagers and young adults. Oklahoma is one of 33 states that will receive a payout from JUUL for the countless minors that the company has put at risk for a lifetime of nicotine addiction. JUUL must split $438.5 million worth of settlement fees between the 33 states. This will total to about $8.9 million for Oklahoma, but Rachel Roberts, the director of communications for the Attorney General, is optimistic that number will grow to $9.7 million.

This settlement comes with a laundry list of things that JUUL has agreed to refrain from, including, but not limited to, youth marketing, funding educational programs, selling non-FDA approved flavors and sponsorship/name rights. JUUL is also now limited to where their products can be displayed in stores, what stores they are allowed to sell and have been limited to their online sales. On the online websites and in stores, the customer must prove that they are of age to be purchasing this product.

JUUL is also facing nine separate lawsuits from other states and countless individual lawsuits with customers stating that they became addicted to the company’s products and were not properly informed of the risks of using JUUL’s products. These and the states’ lawsuits focus on the fact that JUUL targeted underage youth with their ad campaigns and did not provide the appropriate information to users. These campaigns included trendy young models that were and have been popular with a younger audience, a technology-forward product that could easily be concealed and flavors such as mint and mango that appealed to their customers. On the online store, the age verification process was ineffective and also made buying the product underage more accessible.

JUUL’s original packaging was also incredibly misleading to customers. It did not properly display that it contained nicotine, misleading customers into thinking that it had less nicotine in it than it really did and that smoking a JUUL pod was less than smoking a pack of cigarettes in a day. JUUL marketed themselves as a method to help ease people away from smoking without any proof or approval from the FDA.

The settlement follows the FDA’s attempt to ban all of JUUL’s e-cigarettes from the market after the FDA reopened its scientific investigation into the products’ technology and the health risks involved with them. Nicotine addiction is particularly harmful to people with developing brains. Risks involved with smoking heavily, or vaping at a young age can cause harm to the parts of the brain that are involved with attention, learning, mood and impulse control.

The payout from JUUL will not be a quick one. It will take place over the next six to ten years as the settlement documents are finalized over the next several weeks. The $438.5 million settlement totals to about 25% of JUUL’s sales in the United States last year.

Post Author: Erika Brock