Last week, the City of Chicago announced that it reached a $23.8 million settlement with e-cigarette maker JUUL Labs, the result of a lawsuit brought by the City in 2020 which alleged JUUL was "selling [its] products to individuals under the age of 21 (or 18 prior to July 2016), engaging in inadequate age verification, and deceptively marketing JUUL Products."
Specifically, the suit alleged that JUUL was engaged in a marketing campaign that targeted minors, appealing to them using "bright and colorful" advertisements that "prominently featured young models dressed like high schoolers and college students," and "conducted much of its wildly successful marketing campaign on social media and used celebrities and social media influencers popular with young audiences."
JUUL's settlement with Chicago is just the latest development in a recent slew of actions involving e-cigarettes and marketing to minors over the last couple of years: In 2022, JUUL agreed to pay $438.5 million over similar allegations in connection with a multistate investigation involving 34 states and territories. In 2021, JUUL agreed to pay $40 million over similar allegations in connection with a lawsuit brought by the North Carolina Attorney General. The list goes on. And, beyond state-specific litigation, the FDA, FTC, and senate democrats, have also weighed in and/or investigated JUUL or other e-cigarette manufacturers' practices in recent years.