Frankel applauds Shapiro suit against e-cigarette manufacturer

Suit aims to protect Pennsylvania youth from deceptive marketing practices

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 10 – Today state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, said he fully supported a move by state Attorney General Josh Shapiro to file a lawsuit against e-cigarette manufacturer Juul for violating the state’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection law.

“I applaud Attorney General Josh Shapiro for taking action to protect Pennsylvania’s children with this lawsuit against JUUL Labs. The promise that e-cigarette makers have made is that these products are for current nicotine addicts, to help them wean off these drugs,” Frankel said. “Instead, JUUL’s behaviors, as laid out in the complaint, show a pattern of preying on young people to create a new generation of addicts.

“As a lawmaker, I will continue to fight for legislation to protect Pennsylvanians from these products and from second-hand smoke generally. As a parent, I am grateful that Attorney General Josh Shapiro doesn’t have to wait for the General Assembly to act. Every day that JUUL is able to continue these practices, young people are paying for it with their health.”

On Wednesday Frankel, the minority chairman of the state House Health Committee, and other lawmakers will introduce legislation to extend the Clean Air Act to further workplace protections – and to include e-cigarettes.

“Whether it is in the courts or in the legislature, we must work together to protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians,” Frankel said.

In his suit, Shapiro alleges JUUL’s actions violated the law by strategically targeting young people with “kid-friendly” flavors, chemically enhancing the amounts of nicotine and its absorption rate in the products and rushing to market before providing proof of the safety of their product. The complaint also alleges that the company is liable for not disclosing the health risks of JUUL products.

The lawsuit seeks to take JUUL devices out of production altogether, or to impose restrictions on the way the JUUL product is designed, marketed, and sold, and to require the company to pay for youth-oriented prevention programs, public health research, and nicotine cessation programs to help abate the harms they’ve already caused.