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California Schools Sue Juul For Targeting Minors, As Survey Shows Increased Vaping Among Teenagers

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California Schools Sue Juul For Targeting Minors, As Survey Shows Increased Vaping Among Teenagers

San Fransisco-based Juul Labs Inc. is facing separate lawsuits filed by five California school districts on Tuesday, Axios reported.

What Happened

The lawsuits filed in San Fransisco's federal district seek damages, alleging that Juul specifically targeted teenagers in the advertisements for its e-cigarettes, with messaging "designed to appeal to minors."

The school districts hope to change Juul's marketing practices as a result of the lawsuits, they said in a statement sent to Axios.

No Merit In Allegations, Says Juul

"Our customer base is the world's [one] billion adult smokers and we do not intend to attract underage users. To the extent these cases allege otherwise, they are without merit," Juul said in a statement sent to Axios.

Juul said that it is "investing in scientific research to ensure the quality of our FDA Premarket Tobacco Product Application (PMTA) application and expanding our commitment to develop new technology to reduce youth use."

Why It Matters

The lawsuit comes at a time when e-cigarette makers are facing wider crackdowns in the U.S. for their alleged role in increasing nicotine and marijuana consumption among the young population.

The National Institutes of Health's annual Monitoring the Future survey results published on Wednesday showed that the number of teenagers using marijuana through vaping instead of smoking nearly doubled in 2019 to 14% from the 7.5% figure last year

About 26% of the underage students surveyed said they vaped in the month previous to the study.

Juul is supporting a Congress bill that seeks to increase the legal age to use tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21.

The vape maker's support is to ensure that Congress doesn't enforce a stricter ban against all flavored tobacco products, which make up a large part of Juul's sales, the Associated Press reported.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump's administration continues to mull the plan on curbing the use of e-cigarettes, and the meetings are set to conclude before Christmas, according to CNBC.

 

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