If you or a family member is suffering a health issue related to smoking e-cigarettes or vapes, such as JUUL, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call our firm for a free consultation.
What are some of the injuries associated with JUUL or Vaping?
- Chronic Bronchitis
- Popcorn Lung
- Collapsed Lung
- Lung or Respiratory Failure
- Cardiovascular illness or disease
- Suicidal or depressive symptoms
What are the JUUL / Vaping / E-Cigarette Lawsuits about?
JUUL, a manufacturer of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), failed to warn of the dangers associated with its product and misrepresented its “benefit” to consumers as being a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. Additionally, JUUL’s sleek, high-tech design and marketing scheme lured underage consumers into using its product. The use of these products is causing addiction, injury and death.
What is a JUUL device?
It is a sleek, high-tech, teen-friendly, battery-powered device that looks like a USB drive. It actually charges in a computer’s USB drive and is small enough in size to fit inside a closed hand. The JUUL device heats a nicotine-filled liquid JUUL pod, which is sold separately in a variety of flavors, including mango, “cool” cucumber, fruit medley, “cool” mint, and crème brulee, delivering powerfully potent doses of nicotine, along with aerosol and other toxic chemicals into the lungs, body, and brain.
The thin, rectangular shaped device consists of an aluminum shell, a battery, a magnet (for the USB-charger), a circuit board, an LED light, and a pressure sensor. Each JUUL pod is a plastic enclosure containing 0.7 milliliters of JUUL’s patented nicotine liquid and a coil heater. When a sensor in the JUUL e-cigarette detects the movement of air caused by suction on the JUUL pod, the battery in the JUUL device activates the heating element, which in turn converts the nicotine solution in the JUUL pod into a vapor consisting principally of nicotine, benzoic acid, glycerin, and propylene glycol. A light embedded in the JUUL device serves as a battery level indicator and lights up in a “party mode” display of rainbow of colors when the device is waved around.
Do teens prefer flavored pods?
The tobacco industry has long known that sweetened cigarettes attracted young smokers, which is why the FDA banned flavored cigarettes. The use of flavors has a direct impact on teen vapers:
- 81% of youth aged 12-17 who used e-cigarettes used a flavored e-cigarette the first time they tried the product
- 85.3% of current youth e-cigarette users used a flavored e-cigarette in the past month
- 81.5% of current youth e-cigarette users said they used e-cigarettes “because they come in flavors I like.”
Research also shows that when youth see flavored ENDS liquids advertisements, they believe the advertisements and products are intended for them.
In November 2018, in response to litigation and public pressures, JUUL announced that it had “stopped accepting retail orders” for many of its flavored JUUL pods, such as mango, crème brulee, and cucumber. But JUUL’s promise is misleading. JUUL has only refused to sell them directly to retailers, but it still manufactures and sells the JUUL pods. The pods can still be purchased on its website. JUUL also continues to sell “Cool” Mint in gas stations knowing that the flavor is incredibly popular with youth and will become the favorite if access to other flavors is removed.
Why is JUUL’s design so important?
Seizing on regulatory inaction and loopholes for e-cigarettes, JUUL set out to develop and market a highly addictive product that could be packaged and sold to young people. Youth is and has always been the most sought-after market for cigarette companies, because they are the most vulnerable to nicotine addiction and are most likely to become customers for life.
JUUL was designed perfectly for teenagers. It doesn’t look or smell like a cigarette and was designed s to have maximum inhalation, without any “throat hit” or irritation that would serve as a natural deterrent to new users. The sole purpose of this design element was to initiate new smokers, since those who already smoke cigarettes are tolerant to the throat hit sensation and associate it with smoking and nicotine satisfaction. At the same time, JUUL designed its device to deliver substantially higher concentrations of nicotine per puff than traditional cigarettes and most other e-cigarettes. This combination of ease of inhalation and high nicotine delivery makes JUUL both powerfully addictive and dangerous.
Was there a warning on the product?
Despite making numerous revisions to its packaging since 2015, JUUL did not add nicotine warnings until forced to do so in August of 2018. The original JUUL product labels had a California Proposition 65 warning indicating that the product contains a substance known to cause cancer, and a warning to keep JUUL pods away from children and pets, but contained no warnings specifically about the known effects, or possible long-term effects, of nicotine or vaping. Many of JUUL’s advertisements, particularly before November 2017, also lacked a nicotine warning. The United States Surgeon General has concluded that e-cigarettes, including JUUL, are not safe for anyone under age 26.
How did JUUL market its product?
Following the successful model of its predecessors in the tobacco industry, since 2015, JUUL has been operating a long term viral marketing campaign aimed at teenagers and young adults. This campaign, which utilized social media sites, celebrity endorsements and other forms of marketing, extends and expands upon deceptive advertising tropes used by tobacco companies to exploit the psychological needs of consumers—especially youth—to convert them into smokers.
How is JUUL packaged?
Before its launch in 2015, JUUL and Cult Collective developed innovative packaging and creative in-store displays that would carry their message through into stores. In particular, they designed bright, white packages that resembled iPhone packaging, which JUUL knew would resonate with young people.
Are gas stations responsible?
Gas stations or convenience stores may be liable if they sold JUUL products to underage buyers.
For years, JUUL directed its product to gas stations and convenience stores, because they know teenagers and those new to smoking will frequent those places. Instead of placing JUUL products behind the counter, where cigarettes and other tobacco products are kept, JUUL instructed retailers to place its display cases on store shelves away from tobacco products.
JUUL knew that by asking retailers to display JUUL products within arms’ reach, and away from tobacco products, it would also suggest to consumers that JUUL was safer than traditional cigarettes and not an addictive drug.
Are there other brands of e-cigarettes involved in these lawsuits?
Do I have a case?
If you or a family member is suffering a health issue related to smoking e-cigarettes or vapes, such as JUUL, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call the Diaz Law Firm today at 800-459-2222.