E-cigarette maker Juul Labs on Tuesday tentatively agreed to pay almost $440 million to settle an investigation by 33 states and Puerto Rico into the company’s marketing and sales practices, AP reports. The states said the company’s marketing and sales practices set off the nation’s teen vaping crisis.
According to a news release by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, the investigation found that “Juul relentlessly marketed to underage users with launch parties, advertisements using young and trendy-looking models, social media posts and free samples.”
The investigation found that Juul’s original packaging was misleading in that it did not clearly disclose that it contained nicotine, and implied that it contained a lower concentration of nicotine than it actually did. The company misrepresented that its product was a smoking cessation device without Food and Drug Administration approval to make such claims, the states said.
The settlement includes a number of restrictions on how Juul can market its products. The company has agreed to refrain from practices including youth marketing; funding education programs; depicting persons under age 35 in any marketing; use of cartoons; paid product placement; and sales of brand name merchandise.