Bucks County sues Juul for using deception to hook kids on nicotine

Bucks District Attorney Matt Weintraub accuses JUUL Labs, Inc and new Jersey-based JUUL pod manufacturer EonSmoke, LLC of purposely targeting children.
Photo credit Jim Melwert/KYW Newsradio

UPDATED: 5:17 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Bucks County is the latest to sue e-cigarette manufacturer Juul, claiming the company uses deceptive advertising to target teens and children. 

"We are seeking reparations from their ill gotten insidious gains, restitution, civil penalties and injunctive relief we want to stop this from poisoning our children," Bucks District Attorney Matt Weintraub.

The 63-page complaint accuses Juul Labs, Inc and new Jersey-based Juul pod manufacturer EonSmoke, LLC of purposely targeting children, as it quotes a co-founder of the company boasting about how they learned to glamorize the product and downplay addictiveness from tobacco industry documents that were made public as part of their settlement in the mid-2000s.

.@BucksDa is the latest to sue e-cig manufacturers @JUULvapor and Eonsmoke alleging deceptive advertising targetting children. 63-page complaint claims Juul uses “big tobacco’s” marketing play-book. @KYWNewsradio pic.twitter.com/Hiz6R0m5sl

— Jim Melwert (@JMelwert) January 29, 2020

Weintraub says Juul launched a massive online and social media advertising campaign "to target and manipulate youth."

"They know exactly how to reach their target audience," he said.

"It’s the old adage, 'Why did you rob all those banks?' and the bank robber says, 'That's where the money is.' Juul and (EonSmoke), they’re targeting the children because that’s where their target victims reside."

The suit is asking for undetermined damages, but Weintraub says, in addition to no longer targeting children, he also wants the company to pay for health care, awareness, addiction services, and future studies of long-term effects on children.

"And this year in particular, I’ve had many students come pleading for help to quit. And trying to help these students quit is a very difficult situation," Klein said.