PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois received $67.6 million as a part of a historic $462 million settlement with e-cigarette company JUUL for its role in the teen vaping epidemic.
JUUL is accused of targeting teens through marketing and misleading consumers into believing vapes are safer than cigarettes.
The settlement includes stringent restrictions on JUUL’s marketing, sales and distribution practices to prevent minors from vaping.
In Illinois, JUUL is prohibited from targeting products teens, directly or indirectly. Social media influencers and individuals under 35 cannot promote JUUL products or appear in marketing campaigns. JUUL also cannot use billboards to market its products.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said JUUL is directly responsible for the increase in youth vaping.
“JUUL’s marketing to youth, unfortunately, was very successful. Multiple studies demonstrate how JUUL dramatically increased youth e-cig usage after they entered the market,” he said.
One study cited by Raoul indicated 27.2 percent of teens used e-cigarettes in 2014, prior to Juul entering the market. By 2018, that number skyrocketed to 78.3 percent.
Kwame said investigating JUUL was a “day-one priority” when he began his term in 2019. That same year, 49% of Illinois high school students said they used vapes.
“Within months of taking office, we served an extensive civil investigative demand on the company and before the end of 2019, we had filed suit. We’ve been aggressively litigating against them in Illinois since,” he said.
The $462 million settlement was divvied between six states, including Illinois, and Washington D.C.