Attorney General Kathy Jennings announced that Delaware has joined a bipartisan, multistate investigation of JUUL Labs.
The 39-state coalition is investigating JUUL’s marketing and sales practices, including targeting of youth. The investigation also concerns claims regarding nicotine content, statements regarding the risks and safety of e-cigarettes, and the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as smoking cessation devices.
“The data shows that Delaware has made strides educating kids and adults alike on the dangers of tobacco, but e-cigarettes threaten to take us backwards,” said Attorney General Jennings. “The explosion of vaping should concern all of us, particularly when it comes to our kids—who are the first generation in decades to see more ads for nicotine products, not fewer, and who are often vaping with little to no understanding of the consequences.”
While traditional cigarette use has plummeted in recent decades—falling from 30 percent of Delaware adults in 1982 to 17 percent in 2019—vaping has skyrocketed.
Young adults are particularly vulnerable: 89 percent of current adult Delaware smokers started before the age of 21 and slightly over 17 percent started between the ages of 18 and 20, according to 2017 Delaware Adult Tobacco Survey (ATS) data.
Young adults who use e-cigarettes are four times likelier to smoke combustible cigarettes.
Nationally, e-cigarette use among high school students more than doubled from 11.7 percent in 2017 to 27.5 percent in 2019. In 2011, just 1.5 percent of high school students reported using an e-cigarette within the past 30 days.
Tobacco use costs Delaware more than $500 million each year in direct medical-related costs, according to the CDC.