Ellison: Minnesota not part of Juul settlement over teen vaping probe

Minnesota is not part of a nearly $440 million settlement with electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs and remains focused on a trial, the state’s top prosecutor says.

Tuesday, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong announced a $438.5 million multistate deal with Juul to settle a two-year investigation into the company’s marketing of its high-nicotine vaping products, which have long been blamed for sparking a national surge in teen vaping.

RELATED: Juul to pay nearly $440M to settle states’ teen vaping probe

However, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison took to Twitter after the announcement, saying Minnesota isn’t part of that deal and still intends to take the company to trial.

“MN is not part of the settlement w JUUL some AGs announced today. We are taking JUUL & Altria to trial in March 2023—we’ll be the first state to do so—for deceiving Minnesotans about the harms of their product, esp on young ppl. We can do better in holding them accountable,” Ellison tweeted Tuesday night.

At least eight other states also still have separate lawsuits against Juul, as do hundreds of people saying teens and others became addicted to the company’s vaping products.

The states say their investigation found Juul marketed its e-cigarettes to underage teens with launch parties, product giveaways and ads and social media posts using youthful models, according to a statement.

RELATED: 5 INVESTIGATES: Juul recruited U of M researcher as vaping controversy intensified

5 INVESTIGATES previously reported that Juul even recruited public health researchers in an effort to legitimize its business, including a researcher from the University of Minnesota. The company later said it stopped soliciting that research after reviewing its practices.

Tuesday’s announced settlement total amounts to about 25% of Juul’s U.S. sales of $1.9 billion last year.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.