Wake Schools Get $1.9M from Vaping Case Settlement

Wake County Board of Education has recently finalized a $1.9 million settlement with Altria, a prominent tobacco company and stakeholder in JUUL Labs.

This agreement marks the board's second significant legal victory in a nationwide federal lawsuit addressing the issue of teen vaping, following a $6.2 million settlement with JUUL Labs earlier in April.

The lawsuit, initiated in 2021 by numerous school boards across the United States, including Wake County, alleged that the rampant rise in vaping among students significantly impacted school environments and student health. Parents in the Wake County Public School System had expressed concerns about the increasing prevalence of vaping among children within school premises.

Altria, recognized for its role in the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products, also has investments in JUUL Labs. The lawsuit accused Altria of contributing to the marketing and distribution of JUUL products, which are popular among teenagers. This settlement highlights the continuing efforts to hold companies accountable for their role in the vaping crisis affecting the youth.

In response to this settlement, the Wake County school board plans to allocate the funds towards enhancing their ongoing initiatives. These initiatives are focused on educating students about the risks associated with nicotine use and reducing its prevalence among the youth. The board aims to use these resources to safeguard student health and promote a healthier community.

The board chairman emphasized the significance of this settlement as a crucial step forward. It represents a victory for student health, providing essential funds to educate and protect young people from the risks of vaping. However, the chairman also noted that there is still work to be done, especially as companies continue to modify their products in ways that could potentially circumvent existing measures designed to protect children.

This settlement with Wake County is part of Altria's broader strategy, announced in May, to resolve most of its state and federal lawsuits, including those filed by numerous school boards nationwide. The specific settlement amounts for the various parties involved were expected to be determined in the following months, according to Altria's announcement.

Recent News