Indiana Attorney General joins lawsuit against Juul Labs


FILE – In this Dec. 20, 2018, file photo Juul products are displayed at a smoke shop in New York. Federal health authorities say vaping giant Juul Labs illegally promoted its electronic cigarettes as a safer option to smoking, including in a presentation to school children. The Food and Drug Administration issued a stern warning letter to the company Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, flagging various claims by Juul, including that its products are “much safer than cigarettes.” The FDA has been investigating Juul for months but had not previously warned the company. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

INDIANA (WEHT) Attorney General Curtis Hill announced the launch of a bipartisan, multi-state investigation of Juul Labs.

A total of 39 states are investigating Juul’s marketing and sales practices, including targeting of youth, claims regarding nicotine content, and statements regarding the risks, safety and effectiveness of smoking cessation devices.

While traditional cigarette use has plummeted among youth, vaping is skyrocketing. The National Youth Tobacco Survey, conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2019, found more than 5 million youth reported having used e-cigarettes within the past 30 days, up from 3.6 million just one year prior.

A recent study from the CDC found that 99% of e-cigarettes sold in assessed venues in the U.S. contained nicotine, which is the addictive drug found in regular cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products. Nicotine is found in Juul products.

Nicotine use can harm adolescent brain development, according to the CDC. Using nicotine in adolescence, the CDC said, can harm parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood and impulse control.

Young people who use e-cigarettes may also be more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future, the CDC said.

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(This story was originally published on Feb. 25, 2020)

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