King County files federal lawsuit saying JUUL targeted kids
King County has sued JUUL, alleging it targeted children and got them addicted to its vaping products.
The suit, filed in federal court in Seattle, says JUUL aimed its campaign at children as young as 8 years old, through school programs and summer camps and recruited influencers to market to teens.
It says JUUL used flavored vaping products to appeal to youth and hook them.
The county says JUUL’s actions constitute a public nuisance. It asks the court to order JUUL to stop its marketing and pay an undetermined amount for damages and addiction treatment.
The suit also accuses JUUL of violating RICO -- the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
The county names JUUL Labs and its parent company Altria Group Inc. and seeks class-action status on behalf of other counties.
In an emailed statement to KUOW, JUUL officials denied the county's claims.
"We never designed our marketing to appeal to youth and do not want any non-nicotine users to try our products as they exist to help adult smokers find an alternative to combustible cigarettes. We need to urgently address underage use of vapor products and earn the trust of regulators, policymakers and other stakeholders. That is why we are focusing on taking aggressive actions to reduce youth usage of our products, working through the FDA's PMTA process and supporting and complying with FDA’s final guidance on flavored products once effective.”
Washington state Board of Health has declared a four-month ban on flavored vaping products.
You can read the lawsuit below: