Juul also purchased ads on a host of websites created to help middle school and high school students with their homework, the lawsuit claims.
"While we have not yet reviewed the complaint, we remain focused on resetting the vapor category in the USA and earning the trust of society by working cooperatively with attorneys general, regulators, public health officials, and other stakeholders to combat underage use and transition adult smokers from combustible cigarettes", Juul spokesperson Austin Finan said in a statement following Healey's announcement, adding, "Our customer base is the world's 1 billion adult smokers and we do not intend to attract underage users".
"Juul decided not to do an advertising campaign designed for a larger audience and, instead, specifically chose one aimed at young people", Healey said.
Juul's annus horribilis looks to be extending into 2020 as a lawsuit has just been filed in MA with potentially some of the strongest evidence to date that the company was targeting children and teens with its marketing.
"[Juul] figured out how to deliver nicotine more intensely, more rapidly, more deceptively to our young people than any company has ever done in history", Myers said.
Juul's representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Juul, the popular e-cigarette brand that is being sued for fueling the youth e-cigarette epidemic, may have influenced high school students' perception of vaping such that some Juul users do not consider themselves e-cigarette users, a Rutgers-led study finds.
"Our customer base is the world's 1 billion adult smokers and we do not intend to attract underage users", a JUUL spokesman said. IL filed suit on similar grounds in December, and California and NY sued the company in November. The lawsuit notes that, in a 2015 marketing memo, Juul framed its "vaporized" campaign as an attempt to appeal to a "cool crowd".
Dr. Michael Siegel, a researcher and professor at Boston University's School of Public Health, has been an advocate for adult-use vaping products as a way to stop smoking cigarettes, but says the allegations in Healey's lawsuit are disturbing.
The suit alleges that JUUL recruited celebrities and social media influencers to promote its products and purchased ads on websites for kids, Healey said.
On Feb. 5, the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy released a 46-page memo, detailing Juul's "pervasive" targeting of eight Native American tribes, pitching discounted and free packs for those who enrolled in 90-day cigarette "switching" programs. "Look at the people who are using these products".
However, it was said that JUUL sent these marketing emails to email addresses associated with consumers who had failed JUUL's age verification process or did not complete JUUL's age verification process after putting JUUL ecigarettes in their online cart for purchase. Cult presented JUUL with advertisements that used "retro" images of a boom box, a joy stick, and a mobile phone from the 1980s juxtaposed against the JUUL e-cigarette, captioned "JUUL/The evolution of smoking/Finally, a truly satisfying alternative". The lawsuit also calls for a statewide ban on all Juul products.