Lawsuits against JUUL® assert that the company deceptively marketed its products to the public. Most concerning are JUUL’s alleged efforts to specifically target teenagers and young adults with the intention of encouraging their users to become addicted to a highly concentrated nicotine product.
JUUL is one of the numerous electronic cigarette brands on the market. Electronic cigarettes are also known as e-cigarettes, e-cigs, and vaping products. These devices are designed to look like common products—such as USB flash drives, cigarettes, and even writing pens; this allows for easy storage and the ability to use the product discreetly.
Unlike traditional cigarettes–where tobacco is packed and rolled–electronic cigarettes (or ENDS) deliver nicotine in a liquid form. These “e-juices” may or may not contain nicotine, can come in a variety of flavors, and contain propylene glycol and glycerin. The liquid is initially heated in the electronic cigarette by a battery or heating coil, transforming the liquid into a vapor. The vapor is then inhaled.
JUUL is one of the most common electronic cigarettes on the market having quickly risen in popularity for its sleek design and variety of flavors. JUUL’s delivery system comes in the form of “pods”. These e-juices contain a high concentration of nicotine and are absorbed quickly. Put succinctly as to the danger of this device, smoking one JUUL pod is equivalent to smoking an entire pack of traditional cigarettes in a matter of only a few minutes.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported numerous reports of individuals having become addicted to JUUL products; these individuals are primarily teenagers and young adults. Outside of addiction, additional severe reactions reported include seizures and convulsions due to nicotine poisoning and toxicity.
Symptoms of nicotine poisoning may present as:
- Blood clots
- Elevated blood pressure
- Heart injuries
- Joint pain
Between 2017 and 2018, JUUL began marketing their vaping products using, among other things, young models to present an impression susceptible to that age group. JUUL’s advertisements were presented on social media platforms in an attempt to reach the younger audiences, which included an emphasis on desirable flavors such as bubble gum, fruit punch, and other sweet combinations.
Despite there being many other manufacturers with similar products, about half of consumers who use electronic cigarettes choose JUUL products. JUUL’s aggressive marketing efforts towards the younger generation have successfully reversed decades of efforts to reduce teen smoking trends. In 1976, about 29% of high school seniors reported that they smoked cigarettes daily. In 2018, the percentage dropped as low as 3.6% of high school reported smoking daily. But with the beginning of the vaping boom, more than 3.6 million middle and highs school students were using e-cigarettes by the end of 2018.
Injuries and Side Effects
Researchers have identified several serious health risks associated with the practice of vaping other than nicotine addiction. The Journal of Pediatrics published a report in April 2018 identifying carcinogenic substances in the flavoring chemicals used in vape juices. Other chemicals in vaping juices have been linked to bronchiolitis obliterans, and serious lung disease known as “popcorn lung”. Popcorn lung can be irreversible in some cases, presenting as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
Vaping juices, once believed to be safe, are full of chemicals. The most common include:
- Diacetyl (a buttery flavor)
- Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)
- Toluene (found in paint thinners and commercial adhesives)
- Acrolein (used to kill off plants and algae blooms in irrigation canals, and water treatment ponds)
When vape juices are heated, they produce small particles containing heavy metals and can be lodged in the lung tissue, such as:
Individuals can also file a claim against JUUL for physical injuries if they are minors under the age of 18, young adults under the age of 26, or adults with no prior history of nicotine use.
Slater Slater Schulman LLP is dedicated to the representation of individuals suffering from an adverse event due to the use of a JUUL product. If you or someone you love has been affected by JUUL, you should contact Slater Slater Schulman LLP for a free consultation by entering our information below or by calling our office at (800) 251-6990.