LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas will receive more than $13 million in an agreement after an investigation into JUUL Labs marketing and sales practices.
According to Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas is among 34 states and territories in a $438.5 million agreement with JUUL Labs. Arkansas will receive $13,553,391.88 over five years.
State officials suggest that the investigation came about after suspicions of the vaping company providing misinformation to customers and purposely marketing to the youth.
“It is the fault of companies like JUUL who spread misinformation and incentivized youth to buy vaping products that created this epidemic that continue to be a prevalent problem in our schools and neighborhoods,” Rutledge said.
State officials noted that the investigation found that JUUL became a dominant player in the vaping market by appealing to the youth. Officials also said that JUUL marketed to a younger crowd with a “technology-focused, sleek design” and with the use of social media posts and free samples.
The investigation also found that JUUL’s original packaging did not clearly disclose that it contained nicotine, state officials said. Officials also added that the company implied that it contained a lower concentration of nicotine than it did. State officials said that the company also misrepresented that its product helped with smoking cessation without FDA approval.
After two years of investigating, Rutledge said, “I am holding JUUL accountable for their actions with the assurance that they will comply with the law in the future because Arkansans deserve to be protective from deceptive business practices.”
As part of the settlement, JUUL has agreed to refrain from youth marketing, use of cartoons, representations about nicotine not approved by FDA and many other restrictions. The agreement will also restrict where the product will be displayed.
Along with Arkansas, other states involved in the settlement are Connecticut, Texas, Oregon, Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
State officials said that the states are in the process of finalizing and executing the settlement documents, which could take about three to four weeks.