Critics of JUUL, the vaping pioneer company, have accused it of marketing its product to minors. Although they have has denied this allegation, JUUL has bought ads on youth-focused websites such as Nickelodeon and Seventeen magazine, as well as educational sites (e.g., mathplayground.com) and gaming sites for girls (e.g., games2girls.com). On February 12, the Massachusetts attorney general filed a lawsuit charging the company with targeting underage consumers. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids applauded the lawsuit, while JUUL executives have yet to respond.
- The Joe Camel lawsuit of 1977 marked an important year for the tobacco industry as a whole.
- Ever since that date the industry has experienced increased legal pressure for its targeting of specifically underage customers.
- Juul protests that underage targeting was never the goal seemed specious at best when considered against ad choices such as Nickelodeon and Seventeen Magazine.
“JUUL rejected an initial marketing proposal that aimed to attract adult smokers by using vintage 1980s technology. Instead, they produced a campaign featuring youthful models and sought to enlist millennials, Gen Z celebrities, and Instagram influencers to increase appeal to younger consumers.”