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JUUL Vaping Lawsuits

What is JUUL?

My first thought about JUUL? It’s the vape of choice for most teenagers and young adults. It is NO accident JUUL is the first choice of e-cigarettes for young adults. The product was designed and marketed for that purpose.

A JUUL is small. The device fits in your hand and looks like a simple USB flash drive. It can be used discretely, easily kept in pockets or purses. It produces little or no visible vapor. Teens can easily hide their JUULing from parents, teachers or other adults.

Each JUUL device is equipped with a “pod,” a small cartridge filled with nicotine and flavoring. Naturally, the manufacturer produced flavors such as candy, fruit or desserts, that appealed to teenagers.

JUUL Produces Teen Addiction

Designed for modern teens to use and hide. Because of its design and size, youth can easily conceal JUUL devices in public. They are small enough to hide. When seen, JUUL devices look like small electronic devices. Many schools now face serious issues with students JUULing on campus.

Filled with appealing flavors. Mango. Crème Brulee. Fruit Medley. JUUL offered flavors that young adults desire. Plus, flavored pods eliminate normal smoking odors. Federal law prohibits cigarette companies from selling flavored tobacco. JUUL has tried to avoid these laws by claiming its product does not contain tobacco. Rather, JUUL pods are flavored liquids containing nicotine.

Advertised to teens and young adults. JUUL’s manufacturer developed marketing campaigns designed for appeal specifically to the teen and young adult market. A 2019 study published by a researcher affiliated with Stanford University concluded JUUL’s “advertising imagery” was “patently youth oriented.” Company campaigns featured young models in trendy clothes. The company also used social media influencers as brand ambassadors. And, the company even tried to enroll popular internet personalities in JUUL’s affiliate program.

JUUL’s marketing strategy produced real results. According to the Truth Initiative (Non-Profit Anti-Tobacco Health Organization), JUUL use among young adults increased more than 400% just from July 2017 to October 2018. By 2018, JUUL dominated 75% of the total e-cigarette market.

What is the overall picture on teenagers and nicotine? Since the mid-1990s, nicotine use among teens had been declining. With the recent marketing of JUUL and other e-cigarettes, teen nicotine use has again started to rise. In a September 2019 article, Acting Commissioner of the FDA Ned Sharpless said the following about Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), also called e-cigarettes:

What is clear is the explosion of use and nicotine addiction in children driven by the advent of ENDS, especially the pod-based products such as JUUL. After years of witnessing a steady decline in the use of tobacco products by children and young adults, we are now seeing a rapid resurgence of the use of tobacco products in these populations.
Is JUUL Safer Than Cigarettes?

In September 2019, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning letter to JUUL Labs. The FDA warning letter ordered JUUL to stop marketing its product as safer than cigarettes. In its letter, the FDA cited evidence that JUUL representatives specifically told young students its product “was much safer than cigarettes.”

JUUL pods contain very high levels of nicotine. According to JUUL, one pod actually contains about the same amount of nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. JUUL pods have a much higher concentration of nicotine than regular cigarettes or even many other e-cigarettes. And, because JUULs do not have filters, no nicotine is lost through filtration. The high concentration of quickly delivered nicotine from JUULing puts users at risk of both injury and addiction.

A new study, specific to JUUL, found the nicotine concentrations in JUUL devices are “sufficiently high to by cytotoxic, or toxic to living cells when tested in vitro with cultured respiratory cells.” JUUL has become known for its highly concentrated e-liquids that impact the user.

In addition to nicotine, many e-cigarette products contain chemical additives that are harmful. According to researchers, these chemical flavorings and additives can cause serious lung inflammation damage. One chemical found in some e-cigarette flavorings is diacetyl. When vaped at high temperatures, diacetyl is toxic and associated with a very serious lung condition called popcorn lung. Another commonly used e-cigarette chemical called propylene glycol is also known for respiratory effects. Many e-cigarette users have complained about swollen lymph nodes and inflamed airways after using vaping liquids with propylene glycol.

Big Tobacco Returns to the Market

In December 2018, tobacco giant Altria Group invested in JUUL Labs, taking a 35% interest in the vaping company. In the United States, Altria Group markets products such as Marlboro cigarettes. Marlboro has long been the top selling cigarette in the United States.

Altria did not make a passive investment. As part of the deal, Altria agreed to provide support for the distribution and logistics of JUUL devices. This allowed JUUL pods to be displayed prominently alongside Marlboro cigarettes at thousands of retail locations. Following its substantial investment, several Altria executives also moved into key positions at JUUL. The two companies realistically partnered to visit addiction upon children across the country.

Talk to Your Child About the Dangers of JUULing

JUULing has become an epidemic among teenagers and young adults. JUUL marketed its product so it would appeal to a younger audience. Those marketing efforts produced massive results.

Smoking is again on the rise for young people. JUUL use has spread through high schools across the United States. That should alarm all parents. The last thing we need for a healthy nation is a new generation seriously addicted to harmful nicotine.

Have an honest conversation with your child about the danger of e-cigarette use. JUUL used the big tobacco playbook of the 1950s to convince a new generation its product is trendy, sophisticated and desired. Teenagers need to learn the dangers of vaping before they risk addiction.

Recent Legal And Regulatory Developments CDC Announces An Investigation – August 17, 2019

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced a new investigation into e-cigarettes. The investigation targets the issue of whether vaping causes lung disease in young adults.

FTC Begins An Investigation – August 29, 2019

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requested information related to JUUL’s activities. The investigation targets the issue of whether the company engaged in improper marketing.

JUUL Suspends Advertising Under Pressure – September 25, 2019

JUUL faces growing pressure due to the epidemic of youth vaping. Federal agencies have begun to inquire into company activities. Under pressure, the company announced it would cease U.S. advertising and lobbying. The company also announced it would replace its CEO (and co-founder). Interestingly, JUUL’s new CEO is a former Altria executive.

JUUL Suspends Sales of Flavored Pods – October 17, 2019

JUUL announced it would suspend fruit-flavored pod sales. JUUL made the announcement under heavy pressure from regulatory investigations into its activities and lawsuits from individuals injured by its products. JUUL continues to produce and sell its mint and menthol nicotine pods.

Do I Qualify for a JUUL Lawsuit?

The Blackwell Law Firm is currently investigating JUUL injury cases across Alabama. We are considering two different categories of JUUL vaping lawsuits at our law firm. These are: (1) Wrongful Addiction Claims; and, (2) JUUL Injury Cases.

1. Wrongful Addiction Claims.

We are currently investigating claims involving severe youth addiction. These claims involve allegations that JUUL’s improper marketing or misleading advertising about safety led a person to try JUUL and become severely, physically addicted to the product. To qualify for a wrongful addiction claim, the following criteria are essential:

  • The individual’s first exposure to nicotine must have been through JUUL or another vaping product (People who have never smoked traditional cigarettes before vaping);
  • The individual must have been under the age of 25 at the time he or she started vaping.
2. JUUL Injury Cases

We are currently investigating cases where an individual suffered physical harm or death as a result of vaping. To date, multiple cases of vaping-related deaths have been reported across the United States. Many cases of serious respiratory injury have also been reported.

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