The New York Attorney General has announced that its youth vaping lawsuit against Juul is over, ending with an agreement that distribute a $462 million settlement between six states and Washington DC. “JUUL lit a nationwide public health crisis by putting addictive products in the hands of minors and convincing them that it’s harmless," Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. "Today they are paying the price for the harm they caused.” The settlement will be split among the states of New York, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico and the District of Columbia.
The 2019 lawsuit alleged that Juul engaging in deceptive marketing and illegally sold products to minors by glamorizing vaping with ads that featured "young models using fruity, sweet and minty flavors that appealed to youth." In addition to the monetary penalty, the settlement includes strict restrictions to keep Juul from marketing its products that way in the future, including a ban on showing persons under 35 years of age using its products and rules that would keep Juul product placement from appearing in movies, tv shows, video games and even virtual reality.
This is the largest multi-state settlement Juul has made yet, but it's only a small part of the total the company has paid so far. In 2022, the company agreed to pay $1.2 billion, collectively settling thousands of personal and government lawsuits.
Juul will have 8 years to pay out the $462 million settlement, and it might need it. According to a 2022 valuation based on Cigarette maker Altria's investment in the company, Juul's worth has dropped dramatically since 2018. Despite the settlement, Juul is attempting to remain optimistic. "With this settlement, we are nearing total resolution of the company's historical legal challenges and securing certainty for our future," the company told ABC News. "Since our company-wide reset in the fall of 2019, underage use of JUUL products has declined by 95% based on the National Youth Tobacco Survey."