CHICAGO - The Illinois attorney general sued e-cigarette maker Juice Man on Thursday, alleging deceptive marketing practices aimed at enticing youth.
The move follows a similar Illinois complaint filed in December against Juul, the nation’s biggest e-cigarette maker.
Juice Man, based in Dana Point, California, focused on children and teens with flavors like cotton candy and through social media advertising using cartoons and giveaways. The company also misled consumers on the amount of nicotine in its products, according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County.
Attorney General Kwame Raoul said the lawsuit caps an investigation and is timely as COVID-19 can cause severe breathing problems.
“’Those who vape and who have potentially done damage to their lungs render themselves more vulnerable to a pandemic,” Raoul, who has recovered from COVID-19, told The Associated Press.
The lawsuit seeks civil penalties and to end the alleged deceptive practices.
The use of e-cigarettes among youth has grown in recent years. In 2018, roughly 27% of Illinois high school seniors reported using an e-cigarette within the last month, up from 18% in 2016, according to state data cited in the lawsuit.
The company didn’t immediately respond to an email. A person answering a company number declined comment.
North Carolina’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against Juice Man last year.