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Attorney General William Tong

02/24/2020

Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, Oregon, Texas Announce Bipartisan Multistate Investigation Into JUUL

 

(Hartford, CT) -- Attorneys General from Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, Oregon and Texas today announced a bipartisan, multistate investigation into JUUL Labs. The 39-state multistate coalition is investigating JUUL’s marketing and sales practices, including targeting of youth, claims regarding nicotine content, and statements regarding risks, safety and effectiveness as a smoking cessation device.

“Connecticut’s investigation into JUUL is active and expanding. Our state, along with Florida, Nevada, Oregon and Texas, is now leading a bipartisan, 39-state coalition investigating JUUL’s marketing and sales practices, including efforts by the company to market their nicotine delivery devices to youth. We are also looking at claims made by JUUL regarding nicotine content and statements they have made regarding the risks, safety and effectiveness as a smoking cessation tool,” said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong. “I will not prejudge where this investigation will lead, but we will follow every fact and are prepared to take strong action in conjunction with states across the nation to protect public health.”

“I want to thank the Office of Attorney General William Tong for their commitment to public health and safety, especially when it comes to our children,” said Connecticut Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. “It’s important that when there are concerns about questionable marketing and sales practices, that we look into them as completely as possible, and I am pleased to see this inquiry expanding with Connecticut leading the way.”

“We have an epidemic of underaged vaping, not just in Florida, but nationwide. As Florida’s Attorney General and a mother, I cannot sit on the sidelines while this public health epidemic grows, and our next generation becomes addicted to nicotine. That is why we are acting with a sense of urgency in Florida and stepping up to help lead the multistate investigation into JUUL’s role in the underaged vaping epidemic,” said Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.

“Preying on children and those looking for help to quit smoking is the one of the most despicable examples of risking people's lives for corporate profit," said Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford. "I'm proud my office is taking a leadership role in this multistate investigation to get to the bottom of JUUL’s marketing and sales practices. Anyone found risking the health and safety of Nevadans, especially our children, will answer for their deception."

“JUUL’s aggressive advertising has significantly contributed to a public health crisis in Oregon and across the country. I intend to continue to use the powers of my office to investigate and take action against JUUL and any other companies that have a role in selling these addictive and dangerous products to youth,” said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

“I am pleased to be working alongside other states to determine whether any of JUUL’s statements or business practices mislead or otherwise harmed consumers,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. “Protecting Texans from deceptive business practices is a high priority for my office, and I am committed to holding companies accountable for the quality, effects, and marketing of their products.”

Connecticut announced last July an initial investigation into health claims made by JUUL Labs. A civil investigative demand issued as part of that probe sought to examine to what extent JUUL marketed itself has an effective smoking cessation device despite lack of required U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. The CID sought information regarding JUUL’s “Enterprise Markets Team” which, according to news reports, was tasked with forming new agreements with health plans, health providers, employers and the public sector. The CID sought information disseminated by the Enterprise Markets Team related to JUUL’s effectiveness as a cessation tool for adult smokers. Further, the CID sought information regarding promotional pricing offered to certain targeted consumer groups.

While traditional cigarette use has plummeted among youth, vaping is skyrocketing, undermining national progress towards reducing tobacco use. The National Youth Tobacco Survey conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control in 2019 found more than 5 million youth reported having used e-cigarettes within the past 30 days, up from 3.6 million just one year prior.

Assistant Attorneys General Amor Rosario, Jonathan Blake, Michael Wertheimer, Consumer Protection Department Head, and paralegal specialist Casey Ryback are assisting the Attorney General in this matter.

Twitter: @AGWilliamTong
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Media Contact:

Elizabeth Benton
elizabeth.benton@ct.gov
860-808-5324 (office)

Consumer Inquiries:

860-808-5318
attorney.general@ct.gov