E-cigarette Maker JUUL Forced to Restrict Youth Marketing
The Center for Environmental Health has won a landmark lawsuit forcing JUUL, the largest e-cigarette manufacturer in the world, to restrict marketing and advertising of its toxic and addictive products to children. This is a major victory, not only for parents and their children, but for public health nationwide.
This victory marks the first time in its history that JUUL has agreed to legally-binding, court-enforceable restrictions on marketing their toxic and addictive products to children.
“This settlement will reduce the number of children getting addicted to a neurotoxin like nicotine, and help protect them from other toxic chemicals present in JUUL products,” said CEH’s CEO Michael Green. “CEH intends to monitor the company closely and if JUUL violates our agreement by one inch, we will sue them again. This victory is personal for me. My kids are 12 and 10: the exact ages these restrictions on marketing are designed to protect.”
Poison and Addiction in a Sleek Design
A typical JUUL cartridge contains approximately as much nicotine as a pack of 20 regular cigarettes – delivering it up to 2.7 times faster than other e-cigarettes, increasing the potential for addiction. Emerging science suggests this may make it more difficult to quit vaping than actual cigarettes. Nicotine is a neurotoxin that affects the central nervous and circulatory systems, causing blood vessels to constrict and raise blood pressure.
Here are the details of JUUL’s agreement with CEH
- Cannot advertise or promote its products in media whose audience is 15% or more under the age of 21;
- Cannot market or advertise on social media (with the exception of JUUL’s age-restricted YouTube channel);
- Can not use models under the age of 28 in its advertisements;
- Can not advertise within 1000 feet of schools or playgrounds;
- Cannot sponsor or advertise at sporting events or concerts that allow people under the age of 21;
- Cannot pay for or permit company employees or contractors to appear at school or youth-oriented educational programs or events;
- Must replace the terms “adults only” or “not for use by minors,” which may entice minors to use JUUL products, with the phrase “the sale of tobacco products to minors is prohibited by law”;
- Sets clear limits on bulk sales of JUUL products at brick and mortar outlets, as well as on-line; and
- Requires JUUL to continue its “secret shopper” program with specific rules on actions JUUL must take if a store sells a product to a JUUL secret shopper without asking for proof of age.
Listen to CEH on NPR’s All Things Considered
Read CEH’s 2015 report on the danger of e-cigarettes
Learn more about our previous work on e-cigarettes