E-cigarette maker Juul Labs issued a statement responding to its settlement agreement with the state of North Carolina reached on June 28 in a lawsuit filed by the state Attorney General Josh Stein alleging Juul marketed its products to minors.
The company agreed to pay $40 million to North Carolina and the e-cigarette maker will also restrict sales of products that appeal to minors.
“This settlement is consistent with our ongoing effort to reset our company and its relationship with our stakeholders, as we continue to combat underage usage and advance the opportunity for harm reduction for adult smokers,” the statement from Juul read. “Importantly, we look forward to working with Attorney General Stein and other manufacturers on the development of potential industrywide marketing practices based on science and evidence. In addition, we support the Attorney General’s desire to deploy funds to generate appropriate science to support North Carolina’s public health interventions to reduce underage use.”
The settlement requires Juul to prove its compliance through the filing of annual reports and also restricts Juul from sales of products that appeal to minors.
Juul promised in the statement to seek to continue to earn trust through continued action, citing its recent efforts to pull from the market specific products and halting advertising.
“Over the past two years, for example, we ceased the distribution of our non-tobacco, non-menthol flavored products in advance of FDA guidance and halted all mass market product advertising. This settlement is another step in that direction,” the company’s statement read.
The suit, filed in 2019, claimed Juul minimized the harm its products played in what the state called an epidemic among underage users. Juul had already removed flavors like mango and others as well as removed its social media presence on Facebook and Instagram.
Juul must still contend with more lawsuits numbering in the thousands targeted at the company’s marketing practices.