Hawai’i Attorney General Clare Connors filed a lawsuit in state Circuit Court on Monday against the e-cigarette company JUUL and its parent firm.
Connors says that JUUL violated Hawaii’s Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices Law by marketing and selling vaping products to minors.
In 2017, Hawaii had the highest vaping rate among middle school students in the nation and the second highest for high schoolers.
Connors says the high rates are the result of JUUL targeting Hawaii teens.
“So, it also is the case that 42% of our high school students have used e-cigarettes or electronic vaping products. 27% of our middle students have used electronic vaping products, and 9% had first tried these products before they were even 13 years old," she said.
"So when you look at data from the Hawaii School Health survey and some of the national surveys you see some very alarming statistics demonstrating we have been targeted by these companies and marketed to by these companies, and strategies like those used on social media and other types of strategies have worked.”
Other states -- including North Carolina and Illinois -- have filed similar lawsuits against JUUL.
The company has denied it targets underage users. "No one underage should use JUUL products or nicotine in any form," the company says on its website.