RPLG, as part of a coalition of law firms and public agency partners, has filed litigation on behalf of South San Francisco Unified School District in San Francisco’s federal district court against Juul Labs, Inc. for its targeted marketing of electronic cigarettes to minors. The district joins five other Bay Area school districts and other school districts across the country, as well as a number of parents and youth, to challenge Juul’s practices of marketing vaping products to minors.
“As the coronavirus sweeps the Bay Area, it is clearer than ever that vaping poses a serious health risk to our students,” said SSFUSD Superintendent Shawnterra Moore. “Vaping makes students more susceptible to diseases like COVID-19 and a host of other health problems. We refuse to sit idle while the children we serve are misled by these predatory marketing tactics.”
SSFUSD seeks damages for Juul’s marketing efforts that specifically targeted youth under the age of 18 with advertising and messaging designed to appeal to minors. The district hopes to stem the rise of vaping within its schools and provide much-needed support to district youth already impacted by this epidemic.
In December 2019, San Francisco Unified School District, Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District, three school districts in San Mateo County (Cabrillo Unified School District, San Mateo-Foster City School District and Jefferson Union High School District) and the San Mateo County Office of Education and Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee filed litigation against Juul. The United States District Court for the Northern District of California will handle the SSFUSD and other Bay Area districts’ cases, in addition to the array of other litigation filed by school districts, parents and students across the country.
“Big tobacco tried to hook our kids on cigarettes years ago, and now they’re at it again,” said Louise Renne, Chairperson of the Renne Public Law Group. “Juul’s focused efforts to create a generation of vaping addicts with marketing that targets children is unacceptable. We are proud to support SSFUSD and the other plaintiffs as they challenge Juul’s marketing practices.”
The SSFUSD lawsuit was filed with a coalition of law firms that includes RPLG; Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP; Migliaccio & Rathod, LLP; and Wagstaff & Cartmell, LLP, as well as San Mateo County Counsel, to challenge Juul and big tobacco.
RPLG practices throughout California, advising and advocating for public agencies, nonprofit entities, individuals and private entities in need of effective, responsive and creative legal solutions.