Nebraska to receive more than $8M in JUUL settlement
LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - Nebraska will receive more than $8 million over several years in a settlement with JUUL.
Attorney General Doug Peterson announced Tuesday the state will see payments after the $438.5 million settlement between the e-cigarette maker JUUL and 33 states and territories. The settlement concludes a two-year investigation into JUUL’s marketing.
The investigation alleged JUUL willfully engaged in advertising that appealed to youth, even though it’s illegal for those underage to purchase the products. It also alleged that JUUL relied on age verification techniques that it knew were ineffective in preventing youth purchases.
Also revealed in the investigation was that JUUL allegedly implied one pod was the equivalent of one cigarette and had packaging that implied the pods had lower concentrations of nicotine than they actually did.
JUUL’s marketing practices were also brought under scrutiny during the investigation, allegedly finding that JUUL “relentlessly marketed to underage users with launch parties, advertisements using young and trendy-looking models, social media posts, and free samples.”
As a result of the settlement, Nebraska will receive between $8.1 million and $8.8 million in annual installments between 2022 and 2027, 2029, or 2031.
The settlement also requires JUUL to comply with terms that limit its marketing and sales practices.
“JUUL is being required to provide settlement money towards programs that help curb addiction,” stated Attorney General Peterson in a release. “It also sends a strong message to companies in any industry: Don’t mess with our children.”
As part of the settlement, JUUL has agreed to refrain from the following:
- Youth marketing
- Funding education programs
- Depicting persons under age 35 in any marketing
- Use of cartoons
- Paid product placement
- Sale of brand name merchandise
- Sale of flavors not approved by the FDA
- Allowing access to websites without age verification on the landing page
- Representations about nicotine not approved by FDA
- Misleading representations about nicotine content
- Sponsorships/naming rights
- Advertising in outlets unless 85 percent audience is adult
- Advertising on billboards
- Public transportation advertising
- Social media advertising (other than testimonials by individuals over the age of 35, with no health claims)
- Use of paid influencers
- Direct-to-consumer ads unless age-verified
- Free samples
JUUL will also have to abide by sales and distribution restrictions, including changing where the product is displayed and accessed in stores, having online sales limits, retail sales limits, age verification on all sales, and a retail compliance check protocol.
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