ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Three Maryland counties are suing e-cigarette maker Juul and other companies for allegedly marketing vaping products to teens.
Anne Arundel, Garrett and Howard Counties each filed separate lawsuits against Juul Labs, Inc. in April, according to court filings. They say that Juul marketed its products to youth and contributed to the vaping epidemic. Federal law bans the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Tornado Watch Issued For Much Of Maryland
They aren’t the first Maryland municipality to do so — Montgomery County previously filed a lawsuit.READ MORE: President Biden Addresses US Naval Academy Grads In Annapolis Amid Texas, Ukraine Backdrop
According to Howard County’s lawsuit, Juul is a “major cause” of the teen vaping epidemic.
The popularity of Juul products led another company, Eonsmoke, LLC, to use social media campaigns to market its products, which is said were Juul-compatible, directly to youth and also offered flavors enticing to youth like “Sour Gummy,” “Pineapple Crush,” and “Pink Lemonade.” The lawsuit said those ads were deceptive.
The lawsuit also alleges during industry studies “employees tested new liquid-nicotine formulations on themselves or on strangers taking smoke breaks on the street. Sometimes, the mix packed too much punch – enough nicotine to make some testers’ hands shake or send them to the bathroom to vomit….”MORE NEWS: Tank Vs Talk: Baltimore's Gervonta Davis Aims To Quiet Challenger Romero
In a statement, a Juul spokesperson said:
“Our customer base is the world’s 1 billion adult smokers and we do not intend to attract underage users. We will continue to reset the vapor category in the U.S. and seek to earn the trust of society by working cooperatively with attorneys general, regulators, public health officials, and other stakeholders to combat underage use and transition adult smokers from combustible cigarettes. As part of that process in the U.S., we are preparing comprehensive and scientifically rigorous Premarket Tobacco Product Applications, stopped the sale of flavored pods other than Tobacco and Menthol in November, halted our television, print and digital product advertising and support the Administration’s final flavor policy.”