New York Attorney General Letitia James.

New York Attorney General Letitia James. Credit: AP/Brittainy Newman

New York joined five other states and the District of Columbia to reach a $462 million settlement Wednesday with the Juul Labs electric cigarette and vaping company accused of marking its alternate smoking devices and vaping to teenagers.

New York will receive $112.7 million as part of the settlement that was reached with California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico and the District of Columbia, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Wednesday.

New York’s share will fund anti-vaping programs and help teens quit vaping, officials said.

The settlement requires Juul to secure its vaping products behind counters and verify that products are not sold to any customers under 21 years old. Juul agreed not to sell or promote products online.

New York officials called it “the largest multistate settlement with Juul” and sets the strictest regulations on Juul’s marketing and sales to minors to deter underage vaping.

“Juul lit a nationwide public health crisis by putting addictive products in the hands of minors and convincing them that it’s harmless — today they are paying the price for the harm they caused,” James said in a statement. “Too many young New Yorkers are struggling to quit vaping and there is no doubt that Juul played a central role in the nationwide vaping epidemic.”

A statement from Juul said that with Wednesday’s settlement, “we are nearing total resolution of the company’s historical legal challenges and securing certainty for our future.”

The company said underage use of Juul products has declined by 95% since 2019 based on the National Youth Tobacco Survey. According to the CDC though, since surveys were administered online instead of on school campuses during the pandemic, the results cannot be compared to prior years.

The attorney general’s office sued Juul in November 2019, accusing the company of marketing to teens with fruity and sweet flavors that misled nicotine content, claiming they were safer than cigarettes. Officials also accused Juul of not preventing teens form buying vaping products in stores.

Vaping is a widespread problem for teens and in schools on Long Island, said Judi Vining, executive director of Long Beach AWARE, a drug and alcohol treatment nonprofit that seeks to educate and deter drinking and smoking.

She said Juul and other vaping products are marketed to teens on social media.

“It’s been designed to create the next generation of tobacco and marijuana users,” Vining said. “Tobacco is addictive and so is vaping. It doesn’t change the addictive components of nicotine. They add flavors to hide the negative effects.”

She said the funding must be used for educational programs to combat misinformation and also used to enforce vaping restrictions.


“It depends on the education, what are the programs and if they are research-based and scientific-designed to address the problem,” Vining said. “Long Island schools consider vaping a big problem. They don’t know what’s being smoked in bathrooms, if it is a drug product or nicotine. It’s widespread, and vaping doesn’t have a smell and disappears quickly.”

With AP

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