Fmr. Mass. AG Martha Coakley; Massachusetts AG Maura Healey. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images; Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Former Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is joining an e-cigarette giant—the same one that current Mass. AG Maura Healey's office is currently investigating.
JUUL Labs told WBZ NewsRadio that Coakley has been working with the company as a consultant for several months, and is coming on board full-time in mid-April to work in JUUL's government affairs team.
Healey, Coakley's successor, opened an investigation into JUUL and other e-cigarette companies in July 2018 over concerns the company markets and sells their products to minors.
Just hours after The Boston Globe reported that Coakley was joining the company, Healey criticized JUUL in a series of tweets from a Newton Public Schools forum on vaping.
"A nurse estimated 80% of her students are vaping," Healey wrote in a tweet. "Another official said last year they confiscated 200+ devices."
JUUL, for their part, says they are committed to reducing youth e-cigarette use. On their website, the company states they are "developing and pioneering both technology and programs focused on the prevention of underage use of our products," and lists several youth prevention efforts.
Part of Coakley's job will be to work with state officials, regulators, and organizations to prevent JUUL's products from ending up in the hands of minors, according to the company.
"I believe in JUUL Labs' commitment to eliminate combustible cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in our country, and to combat youth usage," Coakley said in the company's release. "JUUL has an incredible opportunity to switch adult smokers and I look forward to working with stakeholders from the private and public sectors as we fulfill that mission and prevent youth from ever using vapor products like JUUL."
In 2013, Coakley and Ohio AG Mike DeWine co-sponsored a letter urging the FDA to restrict e-cigarette advertising and prohibit sales to minors.