(Bloomberg) -- Juul Labs Inc. was sued by California for allegedly targeting teenagers with advertisements for its e-cigarettes.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the lawsuit at a news conference Monday in Los Angeles.

“Juul adopted the tobacco industry’s infamous playbook, employing advertisements that had no regard for public health and searching out vulnerable targets,” Becerra said in a statement. “Today we take legal action against the deceptive practices that Juul and the e-cigarette industry employ to lure our kids into their vaping web.”

The San Francisco-based e-cigarette company has become a target of government regulators attempting to stem an epidemic of new, young nicotine users who have flocked to the sleek device despite never having used cigarettes, in many cases.

To contact the reporters on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net;Erik Larson in New York at elarson4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Peter Jeffrey

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