By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4) – After an e-cigarette company and the state of North Carolina settled on a lawsuit for $40 million, Colorado’s top law enforcement official says a similar case is proceeding.

“We want to help the people of Colorado address what is a public health crisis right now. Colorado has the highest rate of teen vaping in the nation. That’s something we’re really concerned about,” said Attorney General Phil Weiser. “A lot of parents like me have teenagers are really concerned, and that’s why we take this so seriously, to protect our kids’ health.”

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An employee at Lucky Juju, holds a JUUL vape in his hand. (Staff photo by Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Colorado filed a lawsuit against JUUL labs in Denver in July of 2020 after a year long investigation. Weiser said the North Carolina case mirrors Colorado’s. In North Carolina not only did Juul agree to the payment, but also made concessions about advertising practices.

“This settlement changes JUULs, business practices, and prevents JUUL from what they had been doing. We have to stop this real crisis of kids getting addicted to vaping,” Weiser said.

A similar outcome in Colorado could help create education campaigns and programing to try and bring down teen vaping.

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“We need to address our vaping crisis. That’s why we’re bringing our case as well. All the money that we went into suit against JUUL is going to focus on addressing what is a public health crisis, the fact that young people have already become addicted, the fact that there’s now peer pressure out there around vaping. We have to turn all of that around just like we did with tobacco,” Weiser said.

Electronic cigarettes and pods by Juul vaping

Electronic cigarettes and pods by Juul (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

JUUL said in a statement on Monday, “This settlement is consistent with our ongoing effort to reset our company…. We seek to continue to earn trust through action.”

It’s unknown if a settlement is coming soon to Colorado. The case is in the discovery phase with no trial date set. The entire vaping industry is under scrutiny and could be banned by the FDA later in the summer.

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“We have to turn all of that around just like we did with tobacco. Part of what we need in this moment is to raise awareness about this dangerous practice,” Weiser said.

Jeff Todd