and Josh Stein isn't just some random anybody, he just so happens to be the Attorney General for the the sate of North Carolina. This is the first of probably what will be many lawsuits against the eLiquid and device manufacturing company, but it's also a first where an elected representative is leading a litigious charge rather than a strictly political one.
Attorney General Josh Stein's lawsuit states JUUL misrepresented the potency and danger of nicotine in its products, and that the company designed and marketed its e-cigarettes to specifically to attract younger customers. The lawsuit also states that this is a violation of North Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
“JUUL targeted young people as customers. As a result, vaping has become an epidemic among minors,” said Stein. “JUUL's business practices are not only reckless, they're illegal. And I intend to put a stop to them. We cannot allow another generation of young people to become addicted to nicotine.”
As of this writing JUUL currently holds 75 percent of the electronic cigarette market and use of their product is still rampant and growing among middle and high school students. "The company marketed its products to youth on social media platforms and through the use of youth-oriented sponsors and social media influencers," Stein's office said.
Interestingly in the lawsuit, JUUL is accused of deliberately designed flavors and its chemical composition to appeal to a younger customer, which as we know flavor isn't a valid argument when you can get any flavor soda or alcohol under the sun at every corner store in the country. The chemical composition argument could set an interesting precedent should the lawsuit be successful, as it may pave way for similar arguments to be made in lawsuits for other products.
Stein began to investigate JUUL in fall 2018 and just this week announced the lawsuit. The suit is fairly straightforward, dissimilar to other tobacco or similar product related lawsuits this one seems to be targeted at ensuring JUUL does not market to, or anywhere near underage children.
JUUL released the following statement in regards to Stein's announcement of his suit: “While we have not yet seen the complaint, we share the Attorney General’s concerns about youth vaping, which is why we have been cooperating with his office and why we have taken the most aggressive actions of anyone in the industry to combat youth usage. We strongly advocate for T21 legislation, we stopped the sale of non-tobacco and non-menthol based flavored JUUL pods to our traditional retail store partners, enhanced our online age-verification process, strengthened our retailer compliance program with over 2,000 secret shopper visits per month, and shut down our Facebook and Instagram accounts while working constantly to remove inappropriate social media content generated by others on those platforms. Finally, we continue to develop technologies to further restrict underage access."
What a total show, you get everyone pointing fingers everywhere and JUUL just sitting on top of their pile of money trying to be the good guys. What do you think about this lawsuit? Does it do any good or more harm? How will this help or hurt the vaping world?