Juul Illegal Marketing Lawsuit

What is JUUL?

Juul is an electronic cigarette which packages nicotine salts from leaf tobacco into one-time use cartridges. These USB-shaped smoking devices are manufactured by JUUL Labs, Inc. based in San Francisco, CA. The JUUL smoking device first came into the market in June 2015 by Pax Labs before they spun off into JUUL Labs, Inc. in 2017. JUUL is now partially owned by ‘Big Tobacco’ giant, Altria.

JUUL Illegal Marketing to Minors

JUUL has allegedly marketed their vape products to minors illegally. With a combination of e-mail and social media marketing, JUUL was clearly creating campaigns to reach out to younger smokers. Robert Jackler, who is the principal investigator at Stanford University School of Medicine program which studies the impact of tobacco advertising, has noted that JUUL Labs executives have boasted that they run “the most educated company, the most diligent, the most well-researched.”

According to Jackler, one example of JUUL’s illegal marketing is when their website had a stealthy e-mail technique that is attached to their screening process. The website requested all visitors to input their birthday and the last four digits of their social security number. Those who weren’t old enough were denied access but were still added to JUUL’s e-mail list serve. Those rejected minors would then begin to receive promotional e-mail campaigns for new fruity flavors and a discounted starter kit rate of $49.99.  

JUUL also hired an advertising agency to identify social media influencers with at least 30,000 followers to “establish a network of creatives to leverage as loyalists” for its brand, according to an internal email at the ad agency. Social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram don’t allow advertisements to be shown to minors but minors are allowed to follow social media influencers.

According to Matthew Myers, the President of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, “there’s nothing more powerful than a young person marketing to young people.” This speaks volumes on social media where millions of users are under the age of 18, where the minimum age to create an Instagram account is 13 and where nearly half of JUUL’s Twitter account followers are under the age of 18

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), most smokers are over 25 and taper off by midlife. “If you were designing an ad campaign to hit that target audience, JUUL’s is misaligned,” according to tobacco advertising expert, Robert Jackler.

You can also read more about JUUL’s illegal marketing tactics here.

Results of JUUL’s Successful Underage Marketing

The CDC has also stated that nearly 1 out of every 5 high schoolers in 2018 have used e-cigarettes, which is 80% higher than the previous year. It has even gotten to the point where smoking these e-cigarettes is now referred to as ‘Juuling’. One 15-year-old sophomore began attending a high school where Juuling was rampant. According to court documents, it was “on the school bus, in the bathrooms, outside school and even in class,”

Contact the JUUL Litigation Attorneys at Douglas & London

Douglas & London has experience fighting and winning against big tobacco. If you or a loved one has been addicted to JUUL before you were legally able to purchase tobacco, you might be entitled to compensation. Fill out the form on this page or call us at (212) 566-7500 for a free legal consultation. There is no upfront cost and you don’t pay unless we win.