Juul is an American company that manufactures and commercializes e-cigarettes. Since its introduction to the market, they became very popular among teens due to their marketing strategies and fruity flavors.
Juul e-cigarette sales increased 641% in a year; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they went from 2.2 million devices sold in 2016 to 16.2 million devices sold in 2017.1 A survey shows that 2.5 million middle and high school kids have vaped at least once in the last 30 days.2
In 2020, hundreds of lawsuits were filed against Juul, claiming personal injuries. Most of the lawsuits claimed that users (teens or young adults) became addicted to the high nicotine content in the products.3 The lawsuits were combined in a multidistrict litigation (MDL No. 2913) and transferred to the Northern District of California.4
Juul Labs UPDATES
Juul just secured an investment from two of its early investors and announced their plans to cut down on job positions as part of a reorganization. In addition, they also announced that they will reduce its operating budget by 30–40%; this reduction, together with the investment, will help the e-cigarette company to get out of the edge of bankruptcy.5
It seems Juul is talking to media outlets about moving to bankruptcy. Juul recently overruled the ban and won an appeal in court. However, they are still struggling to retain operations: the firm went from having approximately 3,000 workers in 2019 to having less than 1,200, including 100 positions outside the USA.6
Earlier this year, Juul paid Washington $22.5 million in a settlement for deceptive advertising. In September, the e-cigarette company agreed to pay a sum of $438.5 million, which will be paid out over a period of six to ten years, to settle a two-year investigation by 33 states regarding the marketing of Juul products. The investigation found that Juul marketed its e-cigarettes to minors with launch parties, product giveaways, and ads on social media posts using young models. The settlement resolves one of the biggest legal threats that the company is facing, not to mention that it still faces nine separate lawsuits from other states.7
1. JAMA RESEARCH LETTER
Electronic Cigarette Sales in the United States, 2013-2017.
Brian A. King, PhD, MPH; Doris G. Gammon, MS; Kristy L. Marynak, MPP; et al. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2705175
2. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
Notes from the Field: E-cigarette Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2022.
Maria Cooper, PhD; Eunice Park-Lee, PhD; Chunfeng Ren, PhD; Monica Cornelius, PhD2; Ahmed Jamal, MBBS; Karen A. Cullen, PhD
3. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
E-cigarette Ads and Youth. Updated Mar. 23, 2017
4. UNITED STATES JUDICIAL PANEL on MULTIDISTRICT LITIGATION
In Re: Juul Labs, Inc., Marketing, Sales Practices, And Products Liability Litigation MDL No. 2913. Filed 10/02/19. https://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/MDL-2913-Initial_Transfer-9-19.pdf
5. FINANCIAL TIMES
Juul Labs secures cash bailout and cuts jobs in move to stave off bankruptcy (November 10 2022)
Juul’s going up in smoke. Is Puff Bar next? (Published October 7, 2022)
7. CBS NEWS
Juul to pay nearly $440 million to settle states’ teen vaping probe (September 6, 2022)