By Arriana Patraw, Project Coordinator
New York State Attorney General Letita James announced in April a historic settlement with JUUL, a top producer and distributor of e-cigarettes, for its role in the youth vaping epidemic. The $462 million settlement will result in New York State receiving approximately $112 million over eight years, with the first installment set to be received this spring.
This settlement is a major victory for tobacco control and cessation, and a signal to companies that manufacture and distribute e-cigarettes that their manipulative tactics to market products to youth will no longer be tolerated.
Communities have made incredible strides in curbing tobacco use, especially among young people. Nationwide, the youth smoking rate is at an all-time low, yet the onset of vaping is eroding that progress — the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control notes that one in four high schoolers now vape. This is alarming not only because of the physical and mental health risks of nicotine addiction, but also because vaping can lead to other forms of tobacco use.
In addition to the financial restitution, the settlement orders JUUL to stop marketing directly or indirectly to youth, refrain from offering free or discounted products as samples and to treat synthetic nicotine the same as regular nicotine, among other measures.
This settlement is another in a line of tobacco control wins, but agencies across the state aren’t resting on their laurels. Here in the North Country, The Heart Network and Glens Falls Hospital have launched North Country Nicotine Consultants in an effort to support healthcare providers and public health agencies with tools to help people quit using tobacco, and partner organizations like Champlain Valley Family Services, the Seaway Prevention Council and the Adirondack Health Institute are working to raise awareness about the health risks of vaping among youth.
To learn more about North Country Nicotine Consultants, email firstname.lastname@example.org.