Over the past decade, vaping and e-cigarettes have greatly increased in popularity. This is especially true among young adults and teenagers. While the smoking rates among teenagers have fallen for decades, Juul and other e-cigarette devices are reversing the trend.
The National Institutes of Health conducted a survey of 44,000 teens in 2018. According to the study, 37.3% of teenagers in the 12th grade reported that they vaped. This was a sharp increase from the 28% who reported vaping in 2017, and there are few signs that the number will decline. Unfortunately, Juul and other e-cigarette devices are dangerous and can cause serious injuries and addiction.
What is Juul?
Juul is an electronic smoking device that contains cartridges of oil. The device heats the oil to release a vapor that users inhale. The device is inconspicuous and looks similar to a USB flash drive, and the company releases oils in flavors that appeal to teens such as mango and others. Because of the flavors and the ability for teens to hide these devices, they have exploded in the e-cigarette marketplace. According to Truth Initiative, Juul was able to seize half of the e-cigarette marketplace in the u.S. within just two years of its introduction in 2015.
Dangers of Juul and other types of e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes have high concentrations of nicotine, which is an addictive substance that impairs healthy brain development in adolescents. In a study of the nicotine concentrations of Juul cartridges versus other types of e-cigarettes, researchers found that the Juul pods had an average concentration of 60.9 mg/ml, which was significantly higher than any other type of e-cigarette that researchers had analyzed.
The bodies of young adults and teens are more susceptible to damage because they are still developing. When teens use Juul devices, they can suffer from many different health problems, including poisoning, seizures, respiratory illnesses, anxiety disorders, and addiction. In 2019, a spate of severe lung injury cases occurred across the U.S. These lung diseases have been associated with vaping and present similar symptoms as popcorn lung disease. Some users developed a serious lung condition within a short period after they started vaping.
Despite the risks, Juul Labs has failed to issue adequate warnings to consumers about the risks of nicotine consumption and its products’ contents. Juul has also targeted young people by using aggressive marketing strategies.
Several states have filed lawsuits against Juul Labs for its deceptive marketing practices. The attorney generals of California, New York, and North Carolina have all filed lawsuits against Juul. Several other states, including Illinois, Massachusetts, and others are currently investigating the company and may file lawsuits of their own. Illinois filed a lawsuit against Juul in state court, and two counties and a school district in Washington filed class-action lawsuits against the company and Altria, a major stakeholder, for marketing the e-cigarette devices to teens.
Controversy over flavors and deceptive marketing tactics
Juul has offered a variety of different flavors that appeal to teens. Many teens report that they were unaware that Juul contains nicotine when they first started vaping. The company also has actively and aggressively marketed its product to teens, showing young people having fun and partying while using Juul devices. Many experts believe that part of the problem is the use of flavors. In Oct. 2019, the president briefly proposed a ban on the use of flavors until he changed position because of polling data.
Several of the lawsuits against the company argue that Juul Labs intentionally attempted to appeal to teens with its sleek design, deceptive marketing practices, and its flavors. The vaporizer pods are available in sweet, fruity flavors, including mango, menthol, creme brulee, mint, and others that conceal the amount of nicotine that the devices contain and help to prevent people around users from detecting that they are vaping.
Juul’s advertising campaign featured many advertisements on social media, showing images of celebrities and influencers using e-cigarette devices. Juul has argued that its device is designed to help smokers quit smoking. However, it has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for that purpose.
Allegations in the Juul lawsuits
The plaintiffs in the Juul lawsuits allege multiple causes of action against Juul Labs, Altria, and Phillip Morris. They argue that the companies knew that the Juul e-cigarette devices were unsafe under all circumstances for non-smokers yet marketed to teens. They also argue that the company did not warn consumers about the nicotine in its flavor pods and that the solutions that it uses deliver more nicotine into the bloodstream than cigarettes or other e-cigarettes. The lawsuits also argue that the companies are aware that Juul devices can make people who already smoke more addicted to nicotine and increase their rates of consumption. Juul failed to disclose the potential harm of its product. The plaintiffs allege that it also spread misleading, false, and deceptive information about the Juul devices on its website, in its advertisements, and through social media.
Who can file lawsuits against Juul?
Lawsuits against Juul and other e-cigarette makers have been filed by individuals who have been injured from using the devices, parents of teens who have become addicted to the products, schools, counties, and states. Any person or entity that has suffered injury and financial harm because of the wrongful actions of Juul and other e-cigarette makers can potentially file lawsuits to recover compensation for their losses.
Potential compensation in a Juul lawsuit
Juul devices have had an outsized impact on the health of millions of Americans. Many people have developed strong addictions to nicotine because of the devices, and some have suffered serious health problems. In addition to the harm suffered by individuals, Juul and other e-cigarettes have cause schools, counties, and states to suffer economic losses. By filing lawsuits against Juul, it is possible for the plaintiffs to recover damages to pay for the losses that have been suffered.
The available damages in a Juul lawsuit will depend on many factors, which means that the compensation amount will vary from case to case. Some of the types of damages that might be available include the following:
- Past and future medical expenses to care for vaping-related health conditions
- Past and future addiction treatment costs
- Past and future losses of income
- Physical pain and suffering
- Costs of increased staff at schools to enforce anti-vaping policies
- Cost of anti-vaping campaigns
- Increased health costs caused by the widespread use of Juul
- Funeral and burial costs in wrongful death cases
- Loss of consortium in wrongful death cases
An experienced personal injury attorney can review your potential claim and advise you of the merits of your case. He or she may also provide a value of your claim and explain the types of damages that you might be able to recover by filing a lawsuit against Juul and other negligent e-cigarette makers.
Contact the experienced attorneys at Steven M. Sweat Personal Injury Lawyers
Vaping has reached epidemic proportions among teens in California and across the U.S. Because of the actions of Juul and other e-cigarette manufacturers, millions of teens are becoming addicted to nicotine and are suffering multiple health problems as a result. If you have suffered harm because of the actions of the e-cigarette manufacturers, you may have legal rights. The experienced attorneys at the Steven M. Sweat Personal Injury Lawyers can advise you of the legal options that you might have. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling 310.592.0445.