Tracy Finken, shareholder and attorney at Anapol Weiss, was recently interviewed by Cheddar News in their report on the CDC’s investigation of tobacco giant Altria and whether they disclosed the appropriate information to shareholders regarding their 35% investment in e-cigarette maker JUUL.
“At the time they made this investment, in December of 2018, this class action that was filed against JUUL had been in suit since April of 2018. It made all the allegations that we see today: marketing to youth, not warning people regarding the addictive nature of the product, all this information was readily available to Altria when they were marketing this investment to shareholders,” Tracy said. She went on to explain that Altria absolutely should have disclosed known litigation to shareholders, so they are able to make an informed decision regarding their investment in the popular e-cigarette maker.
Tracy also spoke about the impact of marketing e-cigarettes and vaping devices to teens and young adults. “What we know is these kids, who would have never picked up a cigarette—picked up JUUL.” By making e-cigarette devices look appealing and attractive through social media marketing and using influencer culture to spread their message, companies like JUUL were able to access teens and encourage the use of their products. “They have undone 30 years of progress in terms of tobacco use among teens in 3 years. And that is something JUUL can take credit for.”
As we know now, vaping can lead to nicotine addiction, acute lung illness, seizures and other injuries that are being discovered every day. “This is the tip of the iceberg,” Tracy mentioned, as new scientific studies are being conducted on the side effects of vaping. “The science is still developing, and new injuries are coming to light every single day. We are just looking at the beginning of the long-term effects of this product.”
If you or someone you know has been affected by vaping, please reach out to us today.