Yost, local marketing expert discuss nearly $440M JUUL settlement
"They were trying to create a whole new generation of nicotine addicts," says Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.
He, along with other attorneys general, believed the company that makes JUUL vape products had gone far enough.
Yost discussed a nearly $440 million settlement with JUUL Wednesday.
An investigation showed the company targeted kids and teens through social media. "This is just like Joe Camel where they used a cartoon character to try to appeal to younger people," said Yost.
His reference makes sense. JUUL's parent company - is none other than longtime tobacco giant Phillip Morris.
"Consumer marketing is kind of like an arms race," said Yost. "People are always figuring out a new way to do it, a way to work around the rules."
This is precisely what local marketing expert Jeff Hedrich says happened. From JUUL's perspective, Hedrich calls this settlement the cost of doing business.
He believes it will take many years to de-program consumers. "How many decades did it take for cigarette smoking to go down?" said Hedrich. "JUUL became so popular that many teens would say, 'Don't pass me the vape, pass me the JUUL', whether it was a JUUL or not, kind of like Kleenex with the tissues."
While it hasn't been determined how much of this settlement Ohio will get, Hedrich believes it will have an effect. "We've not seen the last of these e-cigs by any means, but maybe we'll see less of JUUL in the market."
JUUL and its parent company have been forced to make many changes in their marketing as part of this settlement. Among them are no longer sending influencers and reps into schools to try to convince kids that JUUL-ing was safer than smoking, and it's been ordered to cease that. It also can no longer have anyone under 35 in its ads and has to stop paying for product placement.