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California, New York Sue E-cigarette Maker Juul For Luring Minors To Vaping

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The states of California and New York are suing Juul Labs, Inc (JUUL), the United States' largest e-cigarette manufacturer, for illegally marketing its products to minors.

In a lawsuit filed in the Alameda County Superior Court, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey and the County of Los Angeles alleged that contrary to the company's claims that its product is aimed only at adults, the San Francisco-based electronic cigarette maker targeted young people through advertising and failed to give warnings about the product's chemical exposure and risks for cancer, birth defects, and reproductive harm.

It also alleges that Juul unlawfully failed to verify the age of California consumers and then violated the privacy rights of minors by sending marketing materials to their email addresses.

The lawsuit alleges that Juul's viral marketing campaigns led millions of American youth to start vaping without knowing the potential harms associated with nicotine.

Juul allegedly launched its sponsored promotional events in cities across California and elsewhere to distribute free samples of Juul devices and their flavor pods to a young, trend-setting audience. The company engaged in a targeted social media campaign by marketing flavors that appeal to youth, such as mango, cool mint, crème brûlée, and cucumber.

Separately, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced on Tuesday that she filed a lawsuit against Juul.

She said the company has engaged in deceptive marketing practices targeting minors and misled consumers about both the nicotine content and safety of its products.

The lawsuit claims Juul launched a coordinated marketing campaign aimed at teenagers in the range of 13 to 17 and downplayed the health risks of e-cigarette products.

"Juul basically took a page from Big Tobacco's playbook by marketing its products in a way that is appealing to youths," James told reporters.

Juul, which has a 64 percent market share of e-cigarettes in the U.S., denies the allegation that it conducted marketing campaign targeting minors.

Vaping poses a major threat to the health of thousands of people in the United States, mainly the youth.

More than 2000 cases of lung injury related with use of e-cigarette, also referred to as EVALI, have been reported from across the country since March.

So far, 39 people have died of EVALI, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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