Minnesota sues Juul, alleges company used deceptive marketing to attract young people | KSTP.com

Minnesota sues Juul, alleges company used deceptive marketing to attract young people

Updated: December 05, 2019 07:13 AM

Attorney General Keith Ellison has announced that his office is filling a lawsuit against Juul Labs, a manufacturer of e-cigarettes. 

Ellison made the announcement Wednesday morning alongside Gov. Tim Walz.

"We are suing Juul because they have deceived and misled Minnesota consumers of all ages, created a public nuisance and especially harmed our young people," Ellison said while announcing the lawsuit.

The attorney general said the lawsuit will lay out how the e-cigarette company has created public nuisance and how it has violated consumer protection laws in Minnesota.

The complaint filed by Ellison claims Juul developed products with higher and more potent doses of nicotine than cigarettes and other e-cigarettes, yet claims its products are a safe alternative to cigarettes. 

Ellison's office also says Juul used marketing campaigns to attract youth users that "closely follows the Big Tobacco marketing playbook of decades past." 

The lawsuit will seek the court to order Juul to stop its "deceptive conduct" in regards to marketing in Minnesota, fund corrective public education campaigns, fund clinical vaping cessation treatments that are appropriate for underage users and take steps to prevent the sale of its products to minors, according to Ellison.

During the announcement of the lawsuit, Walz echoed the message of Ellison.

"My message to Juul as they're listening today is: You can hire your attorneys, you will have your day in court, but we will bring the righteous justice of Minnesota down on Juul," Walz said.

A Juul Labs spokesperson issued the following statement to KSTP Wednesday:

"While we have not yet reviewed the complaint, we remain focused on resetting the vapor category in the U.S. and earning the trust of society by working cooperatively with attorneys general, regulators, public health officials, and other stakeholders to combat underage use and convert adult smokers from combustible cigarettes. As part of that process, we recently stopped accepting orders for our Mint JUULpods in the U.S., suspended all broadcast, print, and digital product advertising in the U.S. and are investing in scientific research to ensure the quality of our FDA Premarket Tobacco Product Application (PMTA) application and expanding our commitment to develop new technology to reduce youth use. Our customer base is the world's 1 billion adult smokers and we do not intend to attract underage users."

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