Home Adult site After years of advocacy, the JUUL settlement represents a significant victory – Conduit Street

After years of advocacy, the JUUL settlement represents a significant victory – Conduit Street

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On Tuesday, September 8, Attorney General Brian Frosh announced a massive victory for public health advocates across Maryland, publicly unveiling a tentative agreement to join a multi-state settlement with vaping product maker JUUL Labs. , worth more than $438.5 million.

For years, public health advocates and lawmakers have sought to curb youth vaping, leveraging several tools to achieve this goal, including public awareness campaigns, new laws, and lawsuits. JUUL at one time held the largest share of the vape market thanks, in part, to its youth-focused marketing, spanning social media posts and flavors known to be appealing to underage users. Attorney General Frosh noted the harm caused by vaping products to communities in Maryland in a press release:

“The marketing of nicotine to children is downright dangerous. It puts children at risk of lifelong addiction,” Attorney General Frosh said. detrimental to JUUL.”

THE RULE

According to the attorney general, the $438.5 million would be paid out over five to nine years, with the amounts paid increasing as the company takes time to make the payments. If JUUL chooses to extend the payout period to nine years, the final settlement will reach over $476.6 million. Under the settlement, JUUL will refrain from

  • Youth marketing;
  • Operate or directly fund youth education programs;
  • Represent persons under the age of 35 in any marketing;
  • Use cartoons in all marketing;
  • Sell ​​flavors not approved by the FDA;
  • Compare the amount of nicotine in its products with other e-cigarettes or cigarettes in its advertising, unless cleared by the FDA;
  • Making claims about nicotine content in marketing materials without disclosing the
  • the specific nicotine content of the product, unless the FDA requires different disclosure;
  • billboard advertising;
  • Use outdoor advertising near a school;
  • Use paid influencers to promote on any social media platform; and
  • Direct-to-consumer ads, unless consumers’ age is verified.

For six years, JUUL will also refrain from

  • Paid product placement aimed at the public and outside of adult-only facilities;
  • Sale of branded merchandise;
  • Allow access to websites without age verification on the landing page;
  • Sponsorships paid for use of its brand name outside of adult-only facilities;
  • Point-of-sale advertising unless at least 85% of the audience is an adult;
  • Advertising in public transport;
  • Advertising on social networks (other than testimonials from people over 35 on
  • certain sectors, without unauthorized health claims); and
  • Provide free samples.

YOUTH SPRAY IN MARYLAND

In 2013, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) began administering the Maryland Youth Risk Behavior and Smoking Survey, which asks high school and middle school students about a variety of risky behaviors, including bullying, drug use, sexual behavior and diet. In 2014, MDH began asking youth if they “had ever used electronic vaping products” and “currently use electronic vaping products”. In its 2014 report, 20% of people surveyed had used a vaping product, while in 2018, almost double the number of survey participants who answered in the affirmative – 39.7%. Additionally, 23% of 2018 participants reported vaping in the 30 days prior to the survey.

FEDERAL, NATIONAL AND LOCAL EFFORTS TO LIMIT YOUTH VAPING

The significant increase in the number of youth vapers in Maryland roughly coincided with the emergence of JUUL, first introduced in 2015, and other vape makers whose products included previously undeclared but significant amounts of nicotine. Earlier this year, the US Food and Drug Administration halted sales of all JUUL products citing a lack of “sufficient evidence regarding [their] toxicological profile. In 2020, the FDA significantly limited sales of flavored vaping productsattempting to balance “public health concerns related to the use of ENDS products by young people with considerations regarding addicted adult cigarette smokers who may try to use ENDS products to move away from combustible tobacco products” .

Taking note of the popularity of vaping among young people in Maryland, state and local legislators have sued and instituted new laws and policies to address previous federal inaction. At the state level, in 2017 the Maryland General Assembly modernized its definition of “electronic smoking devices” (ENDS) to reflect products coming to market – expanding the definition to include an ENDS “component, part or accessory”. Thanks to this same reform, ENDS retailers were to receive a state license. In addition, in 2019, as part of Maryland’s Tobacco 21 Initiativethe legislator has raised the minimum age for the sale of vaping products from 18 to 21 years. In recent years, additional measures to limit vaping flavors and youth marketing were considered.

At the county level, Montgomery has been particularly active in regulating vaping products. In 2020, the county adopted a flavor ban, which prohibits the distribution of flavored vaping products within half a mile of schools and other areas frequented by young people. Montgomery also imposes a excise tax on resellers and distributors of vaping products. In 2018, The City of Baltimore has proposed legislation which would “expand the definition of smoking devices and ban flavored vaping liquids.” Additionally, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, and Montgomery counties filed court case against JUUL, significantly bolstering the state’s case against the preeminent vape manufacturer.

Given the many efforts of Maryland and its counties to curb youth vaping, the JUUL regulations represent a significant public health victory.

Read the Attorney General’s full press release.