A coalition of 39 states announced Tuesday that they will collaborate on an investigation into whether e-cigarette manufacturer Juul misled consumers and marketed its products to children.
Attorneys general from Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, Oregon and Texas said in a statement that they would lead an investigation into Juul's marketing practices, particularly to determine whether its products were targeted to young teens and children, and whether consumers were misled about the effectiveness of the products as smoking cessation devices.
"Our state, along with Florida, Nevada, Oregon and Texas, is now leading a bipartisan, 39-state coalition investigating JUUL’s marketing and sales practices, including efforts by the company to market their nicotine delivery devices to youth," said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong (D). "We are also looking at claims made by JUUL regarding nicotine content and statements they have made regarding the risks, safety and effectiveness as a smoking cessation tool."
Federal regulators and industry executives have battled for months over the proper scope for regulation of vaping products, which have seen an explosion in use among younger teens.
“JUUL’s aggressive advertising has significantly contributed to a public health crisis in Oregon and across the country. I intend to continue to use the powers of my office to investigate and take action against JUUL and any other companies that have a role in selling these addictive and dangerous products to youth,” Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D) said.
The bipartisan investigation comes after the Trump administration halted the sale of mint- and fruit-flavored vaping products, contending that they are aimed at children.
“Our action today seeks to strike the right public health balance by maintaining e-cigarettes as a potential off-ramp for adults using combustible tobacco while ensuring these products don’t provide an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for our youth,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in January.
“We will not stand idly by as this crisis among America’s youth grows and evolves, and we will continue monitoring the situation and take further actions as necessary,” he added.