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Juul Bought Ads Appearing on Cartoon Network and Other Youth Sites, Suit Claims


“Juul allowed more than 1,200 accounts to be established for Massachusetts consumers using school email addresses, including email addresses associated with high schools in Beverly, Malden and Braintree and shipped its products to recipients with obviously fabricated names, like ‘PodGod,’ ” the lawsuit states.

The complaint also contained an email sent from a Juul customer service address advising a young customer how to get around age restrictions. In the email from support@juulvapor.com dated Feb. 21, 2018, the complaint says, “Don from the ‘Juul Care Team’ told a consumer whose order had been canceled due to an age verification failure: “The legal age to purchase nicotine products in Milton, Mass. is 21 years old and above. If you have friends or relatives in Quincy, Mass., you may use their address as a shipping address for your order.”

The lawsuit claims that Juul worked with hundreds of Massachusetts stores to sell its products, including approximately 850 stores the company knew were cited by the Food and Drug Administration for attempting to sell tobacco products to underage teenagers. Although Juul caught some of these stores trying to sell its devices and pods to youths, the lawsuit says, it continued to work with those stores.

The lawsuit comes at a time when Juul is struggling to improve its reputation. K.C. Crosthwaite, who replaced Kevin Burns as chief executive in September, stopped sales of most flavored e-cigarettes ahead of the recent F.D.A. flavor ban.

Juul, like other e-cigarette companies, has until May to apply for F.D.A. approval to stay on the market. The F.D.A. will consider several factors, among them, whether Juul can keep its products out of the hands of minors, and whether its devices and pods are safe.

Earlier this week, the state of Pennsylvania sued Juul, alleging that the company misled consumers about the addictive nature of its liquid nicotine pods and marketed them to youths. Josh Shapiro, the state’s attorney general, asked the court to ban Juul, or, barring that, ban all non-tobacco-flavored Juul products.

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