Colorado has filed a lawsuit against an e-cigarette manufacturer saying the company marketed products to children and downplayed health risks.
The lawsuit filed in Denver District Court this week says Juul Labs Inc. violated the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, The Colorado Sun reported Tuesday.
State Attorney General Phil Weiser said Juul falsely suggested its vaping products are a healthy smoking alternative and can help people quit using cigarettes.
Weiser’s office has been investigating Juul for nearly a year.
“Addiction to e-cigarettes poses major health risks to Colorado youth,” Weiser said in a statement. “Juul must be held accountable for its reckless, deceptive and unconscionable marketing.”
A 2018 study found Colorado has double the national average of vaping teenagers at 27%.
State lawmakers have taken steps to curb teen use, including banning indoor vaping and increasing regulation of nicotine product sales. Colorado voters will decide in November whether to tax vaping products for the first time.
The lawsuit alleges Juul purposefully designed their e-cigarettes to make them more attractive to minors. The attorney general’s office claims that Juul’s use of fruit-flavored products was another attempt to reach that demographic of users.
Juul, the largest U.S. manufacturer of e-cigarettes, has faced legal action from other states on similar grounds, including New York, California, Illinois, Massachusetts and North Carolina.
The company said it has worked to combat teen use and its vaping devices are not meant to be cessation products, but are another way to consume nicotine.
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