Juul e-cigarette company faces multiple lawsuits
Juul Labs Inc., maker of popular e-cigarette and vaping products, is being sued in state and federal courts by families all over the country alleging that these products caused young people to develop an addiction to nicotine and suffer serious health consequences.
According to the National Law Review, a suit filed in California “alleges Juul purposely designed a highly addictive product, concealed the addictive nature of the product, and lured teen users with advertising similar to the type banned for the tobacco industry. San Francisco U.S. District Judge William Orrick III approved the case to go forward to court.”
What is a JUUL?
Juul: “a battery-powered device which looks like a USB drive and converts a nicotine-based liquid into vapor for inhalation. The company previously said that each cartridge, or “pod,” contains the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes, but it has since removed that information from its website.”
Juul’s advertising practices allegedly mimic the tobacco industry
Juul has faced harsh criticism for allegedly designing and marketing their products for minors, creating candy-like flavors and aggressive, youth-oriented social media campaigns. Claimants further allege that the company downplayed the negative health effects associated with their products and did little to make consumers aware of the risks of addiction.
Teens’ addiction to nicotine ‘unprecedented’ even as cigarette smoking drops
While fewer teenagers are smoking today than in the past, a huge number of them are vaping. The number of teens who use e-cigarettes has exploded in recent years. In 2018, the percentage of high school students surveyed who reported vaping in the last 30 days was 21% – double the rate from 2017. Asked how many had vaped in the last 12 months, the rate was 37%, more than one in three.
What makes this particularly alarming is the nature of the addiction that is resulting from the use of e-cigarettes.
Even as e-cigarettes are widely viewed as a safer, less toxic alternative to cigarettes, some experts say that the teenagers they treat for vape-related nicotine addiction display symptoms and behaviors more closely aligned with those who suffer from opioid addiction than with cigarette smokers.
While a single JUUL pod and a pack of cigarettes may contain the same amount of nicotine, nicotine is delivered more efficiently via vaping. E-cigarette users can ingest greater amounts of nicotine faster than by traditional smoking.
In the face of these criticisms, Juul’s representatives have expressed a renewed commitment to keeping their products out of the hands of minors, emphasizing that Juul is intended for adult smokers only. However, for the young people who have suffered serious illness as a result of using Juul products, that statement offers little solace.
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