Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against JUUL Labs, Inc., accusing the vaping powerhouse of marketing to minors and misrepresenting its devices, calling them smoking cessation devices.
“This lawsuit is part of a comprehensive approach to addressing a public health epidemic, particularly one impacting young people,” Raoul said.
The lawsuit also alleges JUUL misrepresented the potency of nicotine in its products.
“On a weekly basis, I am seeing teens who want to quit vaping, but cannot stop using these powerful devices,” Dr. Maria Rahmandar of Lurie Children’s Hospital said.
Similar lawsuits against JUUL have also been filed in California, New York and North Carolina.
A spokesperson for JUUL said the company has yet to review the complaint.
“We remain focused on resetting the vapor category in the U.S. and earning the trust of society by working cooperatively with attorneys general, regulators, public health officials, and other stakeholders to combat underage use and convert adult smokers from combustible cigarettes,” said JUUL spokesperson Austin Finan.
JUUL also said it recently stopped accepting orders for its Mint JUULpods in the U.S., suspended product advertising in the U.S and is expanding its commitment to develop new technology to reduce youth use.
The company added that it does not intend to attract underage users.
In the lawsuit, Raoul is seeking a civil penalty of $50,000 per deceptive or unfair act or practice and an additional $50,000 for each act or practice committed with the intent to defraud.