FCPS Reaches Settlement in Juul Litigation

By Office of Communications
September 19, 2023

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has settled a class-action lawsuit against vaping company Juul Labs, Inc. The money will be allocated to supporting student wellness programs across the division.

On August 31, the Fairfax County School Board agreed to a settlement with Altria Group, Inc. (formerly Philip Morris Companies, Inc.), one of the defendants in a lawsuit against Juul Labs, Inc. Altria is a partial owner of Juul, with a 35% stake in the company. The School Board previously settled with the other defendants in the case.

A spending plan on how the money will be allocated will be made available to the community at a later date.

FCPS joined the lawsuit against Juul Labs, Inc., in the summer of 2022. The initial lawsuit, filed jointly by attorneys general in California, the District of Columbia, and five other states was partially settled in April 2023, with Juul agreeing to pay a total of $462 million to the thousands of plaintiffs in the case. 

The lawsuit accused Juul of deliberately targeting teenagers through its advertising and promotional campaigns. One thousand six hundred school districts across the country joined the lawsuit, including other Washington, D.C. area school districts, such as Loudoun County Public Schools and Prince William County Public Schools in Virginia, and Prince George’s County Public Schools and Anne Arundel Public Schools in Maryland. 

School Board Chair Elaine Tholen said, “We are pleased that there has been an acknowledgment of the potential for harm that these products can cause our students. The settlement will be carefully allocated to support our students’ health and wellbeing.”

Vaping is prohibited at FCPS. Students found in possession of or using vape products on school grounds may receive disciplinary consequences, as outlined in FCPS’ Student Rights & Responsibilities guide for families.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaping can put teenagers and adults at risk of contracting an e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI). The CDC recorded 68 EVALI-related deaths and 2,807 hospitalizations during the EVALI outbreak of 2019-2020.

FCPS is doing its part to inform students about the dangers of vaping. As a result of information campaigns across the country, EVALI cases are now in decline. Find additional information and resources on vaping. Learn about other important topics to discuss with your child such as bullying and social media ethics.