The Massachusetts attorney general’s office said in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that Juul, the country’s e-cigarette giant, is accused of illegally targeting minors in advertising campaigns in which teenage models hold Juul’s devices, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Massachusetts attorney general’s office. “Juul knew it was sold to children,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said at a news conference Wednesday announcing the lawsuit. They are hyped on the Internet. “
The lawsuit also accuses Juul of running ads on platforms such as Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and The Cartoon, which are mainly targeted at underage consumers, some of whom are elementary school students. The lawsuit also accuses Juul of rejecting a marketing proposal for adults that is aimed at winning over “cool people.”
Battery-powered e-cigarettes entered the U.S. market about a decade ago and have been touted as safer alternatives to traditional cigarettes. But in recent months, more and more e-cigarette users have gone to the hospital with symptoms including coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue, which can worsen over time.
The lawsuit accuses Juul of trying to recruit celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Cara Delevingne and Kristen Stewart, who have large underage fans. The lawsuit also alleges that Juul employees and their board sat concerned that the models in an ad were too young to use their images.
“Juul decided not to launch an advertising campaign for the elderly, but rather to launch an advertising campaign for young people,” says Healey. The information we found in our survey confirms Juul’s intentions – they did not accidentally campaign with young and attractive people – and that’s what they’ve always been aiming for. “
Juul also allegedly sold products to underage consumers via email and to underage high school students in Massachusetts. Juul allows the use of school e-mail addresses to create more than 1,200 accounts for consumers in Massachusetts, including email addresses associated with high school in Beverly, Malden and Braintree, and ship its products to recipients with apparently fictitious names, such as ‘PodGod’. “。
A Juul spokesman said the company had not reviewed the lawsuit but denied that attracting underage smokers was its target. “We remain committed to working with U.S. attorneys general, regulators, public health officials, and other stakeholders to combat the use of minors and to transition adult smokers from combustible cigarettes, thereby re-establishing e-cigarettes and gaining the trust of society in the United States,” Austin Finn, a spokesman for Juul, said in a statement. “
The Massachusetts lawsuit is not the first sign that Juul and the e-cigarette industry are in trouble. E-cigarette companies have been sued in other courts for similar reasons. San Francisco announced a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes last June.
Representatives for Juul did not immediately respond to a request for comment.