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Tucson schools will use $7 million JUUL settlement to hire community health workers

About this time last year, the Tucson Unified School District won $7 million as part of a settlement in a lawsuit against the e-cigarette company JUUL.

Now, the district’s governing board has decided what to do with that money. 

The district sued JUUL in 2019 for the way it marketed nicotine products to youth. That lawsuit was settled in March 2023 for a little over $10 million. After paying legal fees, the district was left with about s$7 million.

In September, it created a task force to decide how to spend the settlement money.

At a recent governing board meeting, members approved a plan to use half of the funds to hire five community health workers and two program supervisors to address substance use disorders and other mental health issues. 

The other half will go to organizations in the community that focus on those issues.

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Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.