NNY to get over $1.7 million via JUUL settlement with state

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) – Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties will get over $1.7 million in order to combat underage vaping.

The funds come from New York State’s settlement with JUUL labs.

The state attorney general’s office on Friday announced the allocation of funds that will number over $112.7 million.

New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office will distribute the money to each county, Board of Cooperative Educational Services for the area and and the five largest cities in the state.

JUUL intentionally used deceptive marketing to hook a generation of young people on their addictive products. Our children now face a severe public health crisis, battling addiction to dangerous e-cigarettes. As a result of this historic settlement, leaders in the North Country will have new resources to implement programs that will help prevent children from falling victim to the dangers of vaping. I thank my partners in government for their continued commitment to our children’s safety.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James

Here’s a breakdown of what each county and BOCES will get:

  • Jefferson County: $531,347.19
  • Lewis County: $261,994.63
  • Jefferson-Lewis-Oneida-Hamilton-Herkimer BOCES: $368,831
  • St. Lawrence County: $383,711.63
  • St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES: $232,632.83

The settlement funds will be used for evidence-based measures to combat underage vaping and e-cigarette addiction. These entities must dedicate the settlement funds they receive to programs in five categories: 

  • Public education campaigns to prevent e-cigarette use among young people. 
  • Community, school, and university-based anti-vaping programs.  
  • Vaping cessation services in communities, schools, and colleges. 
  • Enforcement of vaping laws and regulations. 
  • Public health research into e-cigarette use among young people and the effectiveness of anti-vaping programs.

The settlement also requires JUUL to make drastic changes to its sales and marketing strategy:

  • Refraining from any marketing that targets youth, including using anyone under the age of 35 in promotional material or funding, operating youth education/prevention campaigns, or sponsoring school related activities.
  • Limiting the amount of retail and online purchases an individual can make.
  • Performing regular retail compliance checks at five percent of New York’s retail stores that sell JUUL’s products for at least four years. 
  • Treating synthetic nicotine as nicotine. 
  • Refraining from providing free or nominally priced JUUL pods as samples to consumers.
  • Excluding product placement in virtual reality systems. 
  • Increasing funding to a document depository by up to $5 million and adding millions of relevant documents to the depository to inform the public on how JUUL created a public health crisis.

E-cigarette use among New York high school students skyrocketed according to attorney general’s office. By 2019, the proliferation of vaping led to a national outbreak of severe vaping-related illnesses, with more than 2,500 hospitalizations.

The state sued JUUL in 2019 for its deceptive and misleading marketing that glamorized vaping and targeted young people. A multiple-state lawsuit ended with JUUL being forced to pay out $462 million.

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