JUUL agrees to pay $5 million over advertising to Iowa youth

(ABC 6 News) – Wednesday, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced that JUUL Labs Inc. will update its advertising and retail practices, and pay $5 million over a four-year period in order to resolve potential violations of Iowa’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act.  

“This agreement strikes a balance in truthful advertising and promotions of JUUL devices and pods,” Miller said. “E-cigarettes should be promoted to smokers as a less harmful alternative, but not to youth.”  

“Additionally, the settlement will provide resources and education to Iowa youth who were targeted by the company’s products and became users.”  

Miller alleged that JUUL exposed Iowans under the age of 21 to its electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS), a violation of Iowa’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act.  

According to the agreement, JUUL will send $1.25 million to the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services each year for the next four years to be used to: 

  • provide Iowans with assistance in quitting e-cigarette use 
  • fund education or prevention programs 
  • establish research in support of preventing ENDS use  
  • facilitate the adoption of age-verification technologies  
  • enforce related programs in support of Iowa and federal laws.  

The company also agrees to update its advertising and promotional practices, including to: 

  • not to target youth in Iowa with advertising, promotion, or marketing of JUUL products.  
  • not directly fund or operate any youth education campaigns or prevention activities or provide youth education programs or events in Iowa.  
  • not depict or portray any individual under the age of 35 in any promotion, marketing, or advertising of JUUL products.  
  • not use cartoons in any of its promotions, advertising, or marketing for products.  
  • not pay for placement of JUUL products or brands in movies, television shows, theater productions, or live performances in Iowa.  
  • not sell, advertise, market, distribute or license apparel or goods that bear the JUUL name.  
  • not sell or advertise JUUL products in any flavor until they receive FDA authorization.  
  • require individuals to be age verified at the first point of access to any website it owns or operates.  
  • not make any claims or representations in promotional materials comparing the amount of nicotine in its products to those in combustible tobacco products. Additionally, it must disclose the amount of nicotine per milligram in its products.  

In relation to the retail sale of its products, JUUL agrees to:  

  • not display JUUL products anywhere in retail locations other than behind the counter or allow customers to access products without the assistance of retail establishments’ employees.  
  • limit online transactions to no more than two JUUL devices per month, 10 JUUL devices per year, and 60 JUUL pods per month.  
  • take reasonable steps to limit retail transactions in Iowa to one JUUL device and/or 16 JUUL pods per transaction.  
  • not sell items to consumers who are under 21 years of age.  
  • continue to recommend that credit card companies print “JUUL TOBACCO Product” on consumer’s credit card statements.  
  • not provide free JUUL products to Iowa consumers.  

Finally, JUUL agrees to designate a compliance officer to ensure its agreement with the Iowa Attorney General’s office is followed and to address compliance-related issues.