The lawsuit calls for Juul to pay for the costs associated with combating vaping among young people.
As beleaguered e-cigarette maker Juul Labs tries to distance itself from its teen-friendly image and convince the world its products are for adult smokers only, a new lawsuit in MA claims the company advertised on websites for kids' television networks and provided free products to social-media influencers and celebrities that appeal to youths.
On Wednesday, Healey referred to the Cult Collective plan as one that "targeted adult cigarette users and promoted the product as a technology innovation for an older crowd".
According to CNN, the lawsuit accuses Juul of violating state and federal law by advertising e-cigarettes and nicotine-containing flavor pods to children.
The lawsuit is the latest effort by Healey to target the multibillion-dollar industry over concerns about marketing to young people.
"[Juul] figured out how to deliver nicotine more intensely, more rapidly, more deceptively to our young people than any company has ever done in history", Myers said.
"Somewhere along the path towards our existing civilization of post-post-post-ad-infinitum irony, e-cigarette giant Juul has managed to mutate to a semi-sentient meme representing the worst in idle" millennial" advertising, peddling still-unknown health dangers below the nebulous guise of fashionable, trendy options for your own parents' tobacco goods.
Juul also purchased ads on a host of websites created to help middle school and high school students with their homework, the lawsuit claims.
It also allegedly recruited celebrities and social media influencers with large numbers of underage followers, such as Miley Cyrus, Cara Delevigne, and Luka Sabbat who is an 18-year-old considered to be "the internet's coolest teenager", said the lawsuit.
The suit also alleges Juul was negligent in its age-checking practices for online sales, sending e-cigarettes to more than 10,000 addresses in the state between 2015 and 2018.
While the Vaporized campaign was pulled after only six months and Juul's co-founders have since said it was a mistake, Healey's complaint suggests Juul's dubious relationship with underage customers continued well after it ended.
Furthermore, there is evidence that Juul was knowingly shipping their products to teens. "If you have friends or relatives in Quincy, Mass., you may use their address as a shipping address for your order".
Similar lawsuits against Juul have been filed in states including Pennsylvania, New York and California.
In Massachusetts, the results of the marketing campaigns and tactics from Juul and other e-cigarette companies are more than 50% of high school students saying they've tried e-cigarettes, with another 30% saying they've used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.
The complaint also contained an email sent from a Juul customer service address advising a young customer how to get around age restrictions.
As part of efforts to curb the recent surge in youth nicotine vaping, MA enacted the nation's first law a year ago banning the retail and online sale of all flavored tobacco and nicotine vaping products, including menthol cigarettes.