Hawaii is suing Juul labs, the largest e-cigarette maker in the United States, and Altria group, Philip Morris's largest shareholder and parent, saying they used misleading marketing to attract young customers.
In promoting e-cigarettes to children in Hawaii, prosecutors general Connors said in a statement that the companies directly ripped pages from tobacco companies' scripts, fooled the public and created a new generation of nicotine addicts by distorting nicotine content and displaying their products as healthy alternatives to cigarettes.
The lawsuit alleges that the companies violated Hawaii's unfair and fraudulent practices and Practices Act and appointed executives and directors in the lawsuit. It also accused the companies of underestimating the risks involved in using e-cigarettes and their products.
Hawaii has the highest e-cigarette smoking rate among high school and high school students in the United States, according to federal data.
Hawaii has joined several other states that have sued Juul in recent months, including New York and California.