CARY, NC (WNCN) – The Wake County School Board decided Tuesday night to take legal action against e-cigarette maker Juul.
The school board said electronic cigarettes were having a negative impact on students. The board said vaping endangers the health of students and places a burden on the school system.
Tuesday night’s vote to file the complaint was unanimous, with the board saying the complaint was about the “harmful effects of vaping.”
Vaping is currently marketed as a safe alternative to traditional tobacco products, but the board is concerned that its nicotine levels could lead to addiction.
While more than 100 school systems across the country have filed a lawsuit against the company, Wake County is believed to be the first school system in North Carolina to do so.
In June, Juul settled a 2019 state lawsuit over the company’s marketing practices to underage users.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has struck a deal with the e-cigarette company that will require the company to pay $ 40 million and make drastic changes to the way it does business.
Stein filed a lawsuit against the company in County Durham in 2019 that accused JUUL of using advertisements that appealed to minors. The lawsuit also accused the company of encouraging teens to start vaping with their sleek devices and sweet flavors.
“About one in five high school students in our state have used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days,” Stein said in June.
The $ 40 million will fund programs to help people quit smoking, prevent e-cigarette addiction, and research e-cigarettes.
The regulations also require JUUL to change its business practices.
For example, JUUL can no longer sell new flavors of electronic cigarettes in North Carolina without FDA clearance. The regulation also requires JUUL to reduce advertising on social media and their ads may no longer appeal to minors.
JUUL also needs to make changes to the way they sell their products and use age verification systems to sell only to adults.