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Minnesota suing JUUL over alleged marketing targeting youth

MINNEAPOLIS (KTTC) -- Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced on Wednesday that Minnesota is suing e-cigarette manufacturer JUUL Labs, Inc.

According to a news release from the State of Minnesota, the lawsuit was filed in Hennepin County District Court and alleges that JUUL "violated consumer-protection laws and breached its duty of reasonable care, and created a public nuisance."

“In Minnesota, we have a special duty to take on this fight,” Ellison said in a news release. “Twenty years ago, we led the nation in taking on Big Tobacco. Now JUUL has stepped in to deceive consumers just like Big Tobacco did and has taken it to a whole new level. We’re not going to stand by while this company tries to deceive and addict a whole new generation of our youth.”

Declare JUUL is responsible for creating a public nuisance in Minnesota and violating its consumer protection statutes;

Order JUUL to permanently stop its deceptive conduct in Minnesota, including marketing to youth;

Order JUUL to fund a corrective public education campaign in Minnesota about the dangers of youth vaping;

Order JUUL to fund clinical vaping cessation programs in Minnesota, including programs appropriate for youth;

Order JUUL to take affirmative steps to prevent the sale of its products to children;

Order JUUL to disclose all its research relating to vaping and health;

Award monetary relief for the great harm and injury JUUL has caused in Minnesota;

Award civil penalties, investigatory fees, expert witness fees, and attorneys’ fees for violations of Minnesota’s consumer-protection laws;

Reimburse Minnesota for all its expenditures, since JUUL’s inception, related to controlling e-cigarette use among Minnesota’s youth; and

Order JUUL to disgorge all payments it received from its unlawful conduct.

In a comment to KTTC in August, JUUL spokesperson said:

“We have never marketed to anyone underage," the spokesperson said over the summer. "Our current advertising features testimonials from former adult smokers who made the switch off combustible tobacco with the JUUL device, and we are ensuring that this campaign is targeted at adult smokers age 35 and up.”

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