The JUUL company has agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to many states, a few months after being banned from marketing its e-cigarettes. In question: its role in the increase in vaping among young people.
In just a few years, JUUL has gone from the most popular company for young people to the most controversial. Now, the American startup that marketed its little electronic cigarette that looks like a USB key is paying the price for aggressive marketing aimed at a public considered too vulnerable.
Last big blow to date: the company has accepted an amicable agreement to prevent the trials from continuing in the United States. JUUL is going to have to pay out $438 million to 33 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, as Wired reported on September 8, 2022.
In June, JUUL had already seen the right to market its products in the United States withdrawn by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), which had sealed the fate of the startup once valued at billions of dollars. ” As with all manufacturers, JUUL was given the opportunity to provide evidence demonstrating that the marketing of their products meets the standards. However, the company failed to provide this proof and instead left important questions unanswered. Without the Data Needed to Determine the Relevant Health Risks, the FDA Issues These Market Refusal Orders “, had specified the FDA.
Are electronic cigarettes toxic? To date, no sufficiently detailed and long enough study has been carried out to affirm one thing or its opposite on the dangers of vaping and the consequences of addiction to nicotine products. As a precautionary measure, the authorities thus preferred caution to protect consumers.
JUUL was a huge fashion phenomenon among young people
JUUL has been more targeted than other competitors because its small, discreet and stylish e-cigarette has been deliberately marketed as an ideal product for young audiences. In 2015, an aggressive marketing campaign saw JUUL Tiny Cigarettes spread through middle school and high school playgrounds.
After a spectacular increase in sales of these compact models in which you slip a small refill (those of JUUL are known to be very concentrated in nicotine), the company collapsed, forced to gradually withdraw certain products from sale and to accountability to concerned parents. Its co-founder even jumped ship in 2020, a few months after the start of investigations and hearings to understand the company’s role in ” the vaping epidemic observed among young people at the end of the 2010s.
In its press release of September 6, 2022, JUUL assures that “ This settlement with 34 states and territories is an important part of our continued commitment to resolving the issues of the past. The terms are in line with current business practices that we began implementing after our company-wide “global reboot” in fall 2019 (…) We remain focused on the future and work hard to fulfill our mission: to help young adults resist cigarettes. It remains to be seen what the company can still offer, after all these years of controversy.