NNASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee is expected to receive a big chunk of a multi-million dollar Juul settlement after an investigation found the electric cigarette maker marketed its vaping products to teens in America.
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery said in the settlement that Juul markets to younger users with free samples, launch parties and the sleek use of social media. School leaders and doctors in Tennessee have noted the recent impact vaping has had on young people.
In fact, in June, health officials with the FDA ordered the electronic cigarette maker to pull its electronic cigarettes from the U.S. market after teen vaping statistics surged.
Dr. John Heise, a doctor at Erlanger Children’s Hospital who specializes in vaping addictions, told News 2 that the vaping company knew exactly how to market to the youth to get them appealed to the device.
“I don’t think anybody could have imagined the addictive potential they were seeing in the vaping companies which were marketed and often owned by cigarette companies,” said Dr. Heise, “They knew how to market to the teen population, they knew how to create a whole generation of addicted teenagers and adults. So, they knew how to market this.”
Tennessee saw a surge in teen vaping, and one Middle Tennessee school district even reported confiscating over 450 vape pens in one school year.
In Tennessee, a person must be 21 and over to buy or possess tobacco and smoking hemp products including vapor devices. Also, any adult who is found to have contributed to the delinquency of a minor faces a Class A misdemeanor.
As a part of the settlement, Juul has agreed to heavy restrictions on sales and marketing.