SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Several Bay Area schools have filed a lawsuit against electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs for targeting minors.
The suit filed in San Francisco's federal district court claims the company intentionally marketed its products to youth under the age of 18. The plaintiffs argue that Juul used advertising and messaging to allure to teens.
San Francisco Unified School District, Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District and three school districts in San Mateo County( Cabrillo Unified School District, San Mateo-Foster City School District and Jefferson Union High School District) joined several districts across the nation seeking unspecified damages from Juul over the growing addiction among students.
“We still do not know the extent of vaping’s health consequences for our kids, but we know the results are serious,” said Dr. Kelly Bowers, Superintendent of Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District. “Educators see the impact of Juul’s teen-focused marketing efforts firsthand every day. Our schools must hold Juul accountable for misleading the children we serve.”
However, Juul said those accusations are baseless saying, "Our customer base is the world’s 1 billion adult smokers and we do not intend to attract underage users. To the extent these cases allege otherwise, they are without merit."
The company said its remains focused on changing the perception of e-cigarettes and earning the trust of the public by working with regulators and public health officials on combating underage use.
"As part of that process, we recently stopped accepting orders for our Mint JUULpods in the U.S., suspended all broadcast, print, and digital product advertising in the U.S," Juul said in a statement. "...And expanding our commitment to develop new technology to reduce youth use,"