The JUUL lawsuits claim the manufacturer of the JUUL e-cigarette devices deceptively marketed a highly concentrated nicotine delivery system to teenagers and young adults in order to get them addicted to JUUL products.
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What Do We Know About the JUUL Vaping Lawsuits
Electronic cigarettes (also known as e-cigarettes, e-cigs, and vaping products) are designed to look like cigarettes, writing pens, USB flash drives, and other common products.
These devices use a liquid that contains nicotine and various types of flavors, as well as propylene glycol and glycerin. The liquid is heated through the use of a battery and heating coils. The liquid becomes a vapor, where it can be inhaled, which is why its use often is referred to as "vaping". These products are officially referenced as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).
JUUL products are the most common form of e-cigarettes being utilized. JUUL delivery systems (known as pods) look similar to a USB flash drive and contain dangerously high amounts of nicotine. A single JUUL pod contains the same amount of nicotine as an entire pack of traditional cigarettes. Additionally, JUUL pods have a much higher concentration of nicotine than cigarettes and the nicotine is absorbed by the body at a higher rate than cigarettes.
JUUL products contain very high concetrations of nicotine that cause teenagers and young adults to easily become addicted. The manufacturer knew this and promoted it.
JUUL has been accused by government agencies and in various lawsuits of targeting young and underage people in its advertising in order to get a new generation addicted to nicotine. When JUUL first began marketing its products in 2017 and 2018, its ads showed young people enjoying its products in various settings. JUUL relied heavily on social media aimed at a younger audience, and touted its flavorable tastes, such as mint, fruit, and creme.
The lawsuits additionally claim that JUUL intentionally created a small, sleek device that contained a high concentration of nicotine that delivered the nicotine in an expedited manner. The device easily could fit in a person's palm and the nicotine could be consumed without producing a foul odor. JUUL then deceptively marketed this product to a young generation as safer than cigarettes.
While JUUL is not the only manufacturer of e-cigarettes and vape products, it has well in excess of half the market. This is due in no small part to its aggressive advertising that glamorizes vaping through the use of young adult models.
Unfortunately, JUUL’s marketing efforts were so successful among youths that it reversed the decades long trend of youth smoking. In 1976, 29% of 12th grade students reported smoking cigarettes daily. By 2018, this had dropped to 3.6%. Yet, more than 3.6 million middle and high school students were using e-cigarettes by the end of 2018.
JUUL Injuries & Side Effects
In addition to the danger of nicotine addiction, researchers have identified a number of other serious health risks associated with the practice of vaping.
The Food and Drug Administration has received numerous reports of JUUL users, primarily teenagers and young adults, who have suffered seizures and convulsions as a result of nicotine poisoning and toxicity.
Symptoms of nicotine poisoning include:
In April 2018, the Journal of Pediatrics published a report about the carcinogenic effects of the flavoring chemicals used in vape juice to provide fruit flavors.
Chemicals found in vape juice include diacetyl (a buttery flavor), formaldehyde (embalming fluid), toluene (an ingredient in paint thinners and commercial adhesives) and acrolein (used to kill off plant and algae blooms in irrigation canals and water treatment ponds). These chemicals can cause the development of bronchiolitis obliterans, a serious lung disease that is irreversible, and commonly known as “popcorn lung”.
Symptoms of popcorn lung include coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, similar to the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
JUUL Injuries & Issues
When heated, vape products can produce particles of heavy metals such as cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, and nickel, all of which can become lodged in lung tissue.
Some vape liquids contain nitrosamines, which are known to cause cancer.