Juul Labs settles U.S. lawsuit

New York

E-cigarette maker Juul Labs said Tuesday it has settled a lawsuit it faced in the United States, clearing a host of legal issues for the company.

“The global resolution covers more than 5,000 cases brought by approximately 10,000 plaintiffs against Juul Labs and its officers and directors,” the company said in a release.

The cases come from personal injury, consumer class actions, government entities and Native American tribal groups, the company said.

Juul Labs said it was “unable to disclose the settlement amount at this time, but has secured an equity investment to fund the resolution.”

The development follows an announcement in September that Juul would pay 34 states and territories a $438.5 million settlement following a two-year investigation into the company’s marketing and sales practices. The investigation found that Juul knowingly marketed its products to young people, even though it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes to children.

Marketing activities include free samples, social media campaigns, launch parties and the use of young models in advertising campaigns. In 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration scathingly criticized the company for its marketing practices, including a demonstration with kids at school in which company representatives said the product was “totally safe.” The packaging is easy to hide, and flavors such as mango, fruit, and mint are popular among underage users.

Juul Labs has sold some of the most popular vaping products in the U.S. in the past, especially its flavors.

The growing popularity of vaping products among young people has led to an epidemic of vaping in high schools across the country.

In a national survey last year, more than 2 million U.S. teens said they vaped, with a quarter of them saying they vaped daily. They still reported using e-cigarettes and other vaping devices, the survey found.

In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered Juul Labs Inc. products to be removed from the U.S. market after the agency issued a marketing denial order for its vaping device and pods. The court temporarily blocked the FDA ban, so the product is still sold in the United States.

On Monday, the company said it had “taken a series of steps to stabilize its business operations and resolve past legal issues.”

“Through a new investment in the company’s mission and the resolution reached today, Juul Labs is charting a path to continue advancing tobacco harm reduction through science and technology for the more than 31 million adult smokers in the U.S. and more than 1 billion adult smokers worldwide ,”it says.

– CNN’s Carma Hassan, Jacqueline Howard and Jen Christensen contributed to this report

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