E-cigarette manufacturer JUUL faces legal action from people concerned about the health risks posed by these tobacco products. In particular, some families have been taking legal action against JUUL Labs Inc. because they claim JUUL e-cigarettes cause teenagers to become quickly and severely addicted to nicotine.
More than 3.6 million teenagers nationwide use vaping products like JUUL and other e-cigarettes, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration. JUUL is the most popular e-cigarette manufacturer in the country, controlling an estimated 70 percent of the e-cigarette market in the United States. Founded in 2015, JUUL Labs Inc. was originally part of Pax Labs. JUUL Labs Inc. is now partially owned – 35 percent – by Altria Group, Inc., the name of the multinational tobacco manufacturing company formerly known as Phillip Morris, USA, whose brands include Marlboro, Virginia Slims and Benson & Hedges.
Many people switched from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes because they thought these products are healthier and pose less of a health risk. But e-cigarettes have been linked to serious health problems. In particular, many e-cigarettes contain diacetyl, a chemical that can be highly toxic when vaporized and may cause serious health problems. Specifically, diacetyl vapor exposure can result in bronchiolitis obliterans, a medical condition that can affect your lungs. Sometimes referred to as “popcorn lung,” bronchiolitis obliterans can potentially result in total respiratory collapse, which can be fatal.
These health problems associated with e-cigarettes reflect the findings of a study conducted by the University of Athens, Greece. In their study published in the American Journal of Physiology, researchers found that chemical flavorings like diacetyl and other additives can cause inflammation of the lungs. In fact, the study’s author, Dr. Constantinos Glynos, said he believe e-cigarettes could be potentially even more dangerous than traditional smoking.
“Electronic cigarettes are advertised as a less harmful nicotine delivery system or as a new smoking cessation tool. Our findings suggest that exposure to e-cig vapor can trigger inflammatory responses and adversely affect respiratory system mechanics,” Dr. Glynos said in an interview with The New York Post in Oct. 2018.
What many people might not realize is just how much nicotine e-cigarette cartridges contain. A typical JUUL “pod” contains about the same amount of nicotine as a package of 20 traditional cigarettes, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. As a result, the U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory in December 2018 about the dangers of e-cigarettes, particularly for teenagers. According to the advisory, “e-cigarette use among youth has skyrocketed in the past year at a rate of epidemic proportions.”
The numbers are startling. Between 2017 and 2018, the number of high-school aged children who used e-cigarettes within the past 30 days increased by 75 percent. Perhaps even more startling, e-cigarette usage among middle-school aged children who used e-cigarettes within the past 30 days increased by 50 percent between 2017 and 2018.
“We need to protect our kids from all tobacco products, including all shapes and sizes of e-cigarettes,” Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams said in a statement. “We must take action now to protect the health of our nation’s young people.”
JUUL Labs, Inc. has denied directly marketing their highly addictive e-cigarettes directly to teenagers, but as Adams pointed out in his 2018 advisory about the e-cigarette epidemic among youth, “we cannot allow e-cigarettes to become an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for younger Americans.”
JUUL’s claims that it doesn’t market its products specifically to young people are highly questionable. In July 2019, the U.S. Congressional House Subcommittee conducted a two-day-long hearing into JUUL’s educational efforts among teenagers. During Congressional hearings, several people testified about JUUL doing the exact opposite – using its educational program to instead directly market its products to teenagers. In April 2017, for example, a JUUL representative met with students in a New York City school – with no adults or teachers present – and told students that JUUL e-cigarettes are “totally safe,” according to a New York Times article about the July 2019 Congressional hearings in Washington, DC.
Based on such testimony, the Congressional Subcommittee determined that JUUL “deployed a sophisticated program to enter schools and convey its messaging directly to teenage children.” The Subcommittee also stated that JULL recruited thousands of online influencers to market its vaping devices to children as young as 8 years old.
Many families nationwide are currently taking legal action against JUUL for marketing their highly-addictive, hazardous products to teenagers. That’s why it’s important to talk with an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands the law and the legal system and how it relates to e-cigarette companies.
One thing is for sure. You can bet that JUUL Labs. Inc. already has a team of attorneys working around the clock to build a strong legal defense of its actions. That’s why you need the Mike Slocumb Law Firm on your side, standing up for your rights. Our nationwide law firm can make sure your voice is heard loud and clear when you file a JUUL cigarette lawsuit.
Learn more about your legal options. Contact our law firm and schedule your free case evaluation right now with an experienced, personal injury attorney you can trust. Our law firm has offices in Washington DC and Baltimore, as well as Auburn, AL; Mobile, AL; Jackson, MS; Parkersburg, WV; and Charleston, WV.