SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A new lawsuit against San Francisco-based Juul claims to provide the strongest evidence yet that e-cigarette giant targeted children with its online advertising campaigns.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday by Maura Healey, Attorney General of Massachusetts, who said an investigation uncovered internal documents that allegedly show Juul explicitly targeted teens.
According to the lawsuit, Juul rejected a marketing proposal targeting adults, instead adopting a campaign aimed at a “cool crowd.” The company also allegedly hoped to have then-teen celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Kristen Stewart promote their products.
Juul also allegedly bought ads on youth-focused websites, including Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Seventeen magazine.
Emma Tigerman, 19, said at a news conference Wednesday that she was in eleventh grade when she started vaping, CBS Boston reported.
“When I raised it to my mouth and inhaled the sweet, mango-flavored vapor, it was as if I could feel the claws of the substance embedding themselves,” Tigerman said. “I found myself beginning to crave the relief of a hit, and if I waited too long in between, I would grow shaky and irritable.”
“Unfortunately, I will have to consider myself an addict for the rest of my life and that is at the hands of Juul,” Tigerman went on to say.
Juul released a statement to CBS News, saying, “While we have not yet reviewed the complaint… we [are] working to combat underage use… Our customer base… is adult smokers…”
The state of California has filed a similar lawsuit against Juul, along with more than a dozen California school districts.