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AG Derek Schmidt: Kansas Investigating JUUL Business Practices

Date:

TOPEKA – (February 25, 2020) – Kansas has been investigating JUUL Labs’ business practices in connection with the skyrocketing rate of youth vaping, Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today.

“Today I am taking the unusual step of announcing an ongoing investigation,” said Schmidt, who noted that the ordinary practice of his office is to neither confirm nor deny whether an investigation exists. “Kansas has been investigating JUUL’s business practices for several months and now we have joined in a coalition of state attorneys general to bring a united front. This is the best and most-efficient and effective way to protect the public interest statewide and ensure that any unlawful practices that contributed to the sharp increase in youth vaping are stopped.”

Schmidt said his office is one of 39 state attorneys general now participating in a joint investigation into JUUL’s marketing and sales practices, including targeting of youth, claims regarding nicotine content and statements regarding risks, safety, and effectiveness as a smoking cessation device. The bipartisan investigation was announced today.

While traditional cigarette use has plummeted among youth, vaping is skyrocketing, undermining national progress towards reducing tobacco use. The National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control in 2019 found more than 5 million youth reported having used electronic cigarettes within the past 30 days, up from 3.6 million just one year prior. The NYTS also found the current rate of youth vaping is now roughly equal to the prevalence of cigarette use by youth at the time of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement in 1998.

“After decades of declining rates of youth nicotine addiction, the trend line has reversed in recent years as vaping products as a nicotine-delivery system have become widespread among high school-aged youth and even many younger kids,” said Schmidt, who noted that JUUL Labs controls about 75 percent of the e-cigarette market nationally. “We are at risk of seeing a new generation become adults already addicted to nicotine, and that is unacceptable.”

Schmidt said he would not characterize the status of the investigation or what the attorneys general have found to date.

“By working together with the vast majority of other states, we can help ensure the investigation is thorough, focused and properly coordinated,” Schmidt said. “As with any similar investigation, we will methodically determine what evidence is available and follow wherever the evidence leads. If the evidence shows illegal conduct, we will take appropriate enforcement action.”

Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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