NC attorney general files new lawsuit over kid-friendly e-cigarettes

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein held a news conference Tuesday announcing a lawsuit and statewide investigation on e-cigarettes.

The move comes following legal action Stein spearheaded against Juul, the e-cigarette company, which was since ordered to pay $40 million to the state.

Tuesday, Stein filed a lawsuit against Juul’s founders accusing them of using marketing strategies to target young teens. Stein is also investigating 20 e-cigarette companies from manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers, locally and nationwide, for selling candy-flavored e-cigarettes.

Stein talked about the timing of the lawsuit and investigation.

“Last year during the pandemic, fewer kids were newly addicted to the e-cigarettes, that’s likely because they weren’t at school or hanging out with friends, but now that life is returning to normal we fear that the numbers will go back up. If you get North Carolina teens addicted to nicotine there will be consequences,” Stein said.

While some people argue e-cigarettes are a useful tool to help those struggling to part ways with traditional smoking, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Service chief medical officer Dr. Elizabeth Tilson says a big con remains.

“There may be a small exit ramp of people using e-cigarettes to get off but you have a four-lane highway of getting people onto it. So when we think about public health as a whole, the on-ramp is much bigger than the off-ramp,” Tilson said.

Stein says he plans to talk to North Carolina educators about adding curriculum in schools to help prevent children from using the products.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Click here for full list of trending stories