City of Chicago Reaches $23.8M Settlement Agreement with E-Cigarette Marker JUUL Labs

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

The City of Chicago announced that a $23.8M settlement has been reached with JUUL Labs, a leading e-cigarette maker, over claims that the company was engaged in harmful and deceptive business practices by marketing and selling vaping products to underage users. JUUL Labs introduced their popular electronic inhalation products, also known as e-cigarettes or vapes, in 2015 and quickly grew to become the major supplier of e-cigarettes in the United States. Over 2.5 million middle and high school students nationwide used e-cigarettes in 2022. Today, Chicago high school students are 10 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than traditional combustible cigarettes. The harms of vaping for youth and young adults include addiction to nicotine, inhalation of toxic chemicals, exposure to illicit drugs, an increased risk of asthma attacks, and mental health concerns like depression and anxiety. With the settlement funds, CDPH will take critical steps to prevent and reduce youth vaping through education, local policies, parent and teacher supports, cessation supports, improvements in data, and community engagement and outreach initiatives.  The settlement agreement resolves a lawsuit brought by the City in May 2020 that alleged JUUL violated City ordinances by engaging in a widespread marketing campaign that targeted minors and by selling JUUL products without implementing strict age verification requirements. JUUL appealed to youth with their colorful, playful media and social media marketing and used high nicotine contents to fuel ongoing use. According to the settlement, JUUL has agreed to pay the City $2.8M within 30 days of the execution of the agreement. The City would receive an additional $21M payment later this year under the current schedule and may potentially receive up to $750,000 additional, court-awarded payments.  The case was handled by the Affirmative Litigation Division of the City’s Law Department. 

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