Individuals who used JUUL products and developed nicotine addiction before November 2018 and before turning 18 years of age may be eligible to pursue a claim and seek financial compensation.
JUUL is an electronic cigarette device that has been popular among youth due to its design and ease of use. The product was initially marketed as a safer alternative to regular cigarettes. Unfortunately, JUUL products have a much higher concentration of nicotine than other e-cigarette competitors. As a result, teenagers and young adults who used JUUL developed nicotine addiction and complications related to nicotine addiction. Lawsuits have been filed against manufacturer JUUL Labs Inc. accusing JUUL of deceptive marketing and targeting underaged people.
If you or a loved one has used JUUL products and suffered from nicotine addiction prior to November 2018 and before the age of 18, contact Maxwell Law Group today. We can answer your questions and review your case for free.
What is JUUL?
JUUL is an electronic cigarette device (also known as e-cigarette, e-cig, or vape) that resembles a slim USB flash drive in its design. It is battery operated and can be recharged via USB port. It requires JUUL pods, which are cartridges containing nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals.
JUUL gained its popularity among teenagers and young adults due to its sleek design, the ease of use of their pods which only need to be inserted into the e-cigarette device), and the variety of flavors offered.
JUUL Quick Facts
Electronic cigarette used as an alternative to regular cigarettes
Altered adolescent brain development and nicotine addiction
How Does JUUL Work?
JUUL works by heating the pods which contain their patented e-liquid formula, transforming it into vapors — which is why the use of these devices is called vaping. T pods contain a mixture of nicotine, glycerol, propylene glycol, benzoic acid, and flavorings. There are several sweet and fruity flavors offered, which often make vaping more appealing to the younger audience.
JUUL has a closed system. This means users cannot refill the pods by themselves. Once the pods are empty, users have to buy new ones. This system supposedly allows for quality control. Other e-cigarette manufacturers allow users to add their own mixture of liquids and flavors into their vaping devices.
Despite being marketed as a safer alternative to a regular cigarette, JUUL products contain a higher nicotine concentration than traditional cigarettes. One JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as one pack of regular cigarettes or about 200 puffs. It also contains the highest nicotine concentration among vaping products. Before JUUL became popular, other devices only contained 1% to 3% nicotine by volume, whereas JUUL introduced a 5% nicotine content by volume when it was released to the market. It seems other competitors have followed suit and started increasing their nicotine content as well.
Nicotine is especially dangerous to youth because it is harmful to adolescent brain development. It can affect parts of the brain that are responsible for attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. Young users can also suffer from reduced lung function, lung growth, and cardiovascular damage.
Nicotine is a highly addictive substance since it triggers the brain that makes the user feel satisfaction and euphoria. Symptoms of nicotine addiction include:
- An inability to stop using nicotine products
- Withdrawal symptoms when nicotine use stops
- A desire to keep smoking even when health complications arise
- Continued use of nicotine products even if it negatively impacts your life
The FDA sent a warning letter to JUUL Labs in September 2019 for marketing its products to youth. This includes labeling, advertising, and outreach activities — including giving presentations in schools. The FDA discovered that JUUL representatives gave the following statements in a school presentation:
- JUUL use “was much safer than cigarettes” and that “FDA would approve it any day.”
- JUUL was “totally safe.”
- A student “…should mention JUUL to his [nicotine-addicted] friend…because that’s a safer alternative than smoking cigarettes, and it would be better for the kid to use.”
- “FDA was about to come out and say it (JUUL) was 99% safer than cigarettes…and that…would happen very soon….”
Injuries from JUUL
Increased use among youth. E-cigarette use among middle and high school students has increased from 2011 to 2019. 1 out of 10 (10.5%) middle school students and 1 out of 4 high school students reported using an e-cigarette product in the past 30 days in 2019. In comparison, in 2011, only 0.6% of middle school students and 1.5% of high school students had used an e-cigarette product in the prior 30 days.
Lung injury incidents. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a report of their ongoing investigation on a national outbreak of E-cigarette or Vaping product use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI). As of December 2019, 2,506 individuals have been hospitalized due to lung injuries related to vaping products, with 54 deaths confirmed as of December 19, 2019.
Vitamin E acetate has been identified as a chemical of concern, as it was found in 48 out of 51 fluid samples collected from the lungs of patients admitted for lung injuries related to e-cigarettes and vaping. In contrast, it was not found in lung fluid samples from a control group with healthy participants.
In October 2019, a federal judicial panel ordered lawsuits against JUUL Labs (MDL 2913) to be transferred to San Francisco, California, where the company’s headquarters are located. The lawsuits claim that JUUL targeted young and underaged people in its advertisements. Advertising material before 2018 showed young people using their products, and JUUL’s social media campaigns targeted youth.
The lawsuits also allege that JUUL also conducted deceptive marketing practices by stating that JUUL products were a safer alternative to regular cigarettes.
The lawsuits also claim that JUUL failed to warn its users of the risks of the e-cigarette products, and did not disclose the actual amount of nicotine its products contained.
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