Minnesota Lawsuit Targets Dominant E-Cig Company
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The State of Minnesota has launched a legal fight with the dominant manufacturer of e-cigarette products.
Governor Tim Walz and the Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison called a news conference today at the State Capitol to announce a lawsuit against Juul Labs that accuses the company of violating state consumer-protection laws, breaching its duty of reasonable care, and creating a public nuisance.
“My job is to protect Minnesotans from deceptive, fraudulent, and unlawful practices, and to protect their health and safety. It’s especially important for me to protect our young folks from deception and harm. I’m bringing a lawsuit against JUUL today because it has created a public nuisance that is centered around deceiving, addicting, and harming our young people,” said Attorney General Ellison.
The lawsuit alleges Juul developed slick-looking products and flavors designed to appeal to youth in a highly effective youth-oriented marketing campaign that closely followed the Big Tobacco marketing playbook of previous decades to lure young people into using and becoming addicted to the company's products. A news release from the Minnesota Attorney General's office cited a Minnesota Department of Health report that found the percentage of 11th graders who have vaped in the previous 30 days rose over 50-percent during the previous year and the percentage of 8th graders reporting the same activity shot up almost 100-percent.
The news release says Juul's market value grew to $38 billion this year and it's revenues shot up 800-percent the previous year. At the same time, the firm's growth captured 75-percent of the e-cigarette market.
2 outside law firms, Robbins Kaplan and Zimmerman Reed, have been hired to oversee the state's legal fight against Juul and pursue remedies similar to those sought by the state in its landmark lawsuit against Big Tobacco.