Juul vaping lawsuits. E-cigarettes have been marketed as a safer alternative for smokers than cigarettes. However, some of these products have been marketed to teens with their designs, packaging, and flavor combinations. Juul, a brand that is owned by Phillip Morris subsidiary Altria, has been marketed in a way that has targeted teens, leading many to develop addictions to nicotine and smoking-related injuries. These products have also become a nuisance for school districts that must spend time policing teens for vaping, taking away time from teaching. Parents of teens and school districts may be able to pursue legal remedies against Altria and other e-cigarette manufacturers by filing a lawsuit. We are currently evaluating these potential vaping addiction lawsuits involving Juul and others.
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What is Juul?
Juul is a popular e-cigarette device that looks like a USB drive. It came to market in June 2015. It comes in a variety of flavors and has quickly grown to become the most popular e-smoking device on the market. As of Sept. 2018, this brand accounted for more than 70% of the market share for e-cigarettes sold in the U.S., according to data from Nielsen. Young people are the primary users of this device. A 2018 study that was reported in the BMJ Journals found that children between the ages of 15 and 17 are 16 times likelier to use this product than adults between the ages of 25 and 34.
This device is popular among teens for multiple reasons. Its design makes it look like a USB flash drive, making it easy to conceal and to use in classrooms. The odor that is emitted is slight and may be passed off as perfume. It also comes in fruity flavors that are attractive to adolescents. In a 2015 study that was conducted by Stanford University, many teens didn’t understand that e-cigarettes contain nicotine, with the participants reporting that they thought the devices only contained water and flavor.
The device is so popular among teens that they have coined the term Juuling to refer to vaping with the product. Juuling is not the innocent act of rebellion that many teens believe it to be. Instead, it is driving an acceleration in the number of teens who use tobacco products, leading to nicotine addictions that can result in early death.
Dangers of e-cigarettes to teenagers
E-cigarette use and vaping can cause many smoking-related injuries to teens. When teens engage in Juuling, they inhale a concentrated form of nicotine. These devices contain much higher concentrations of nicotine than what are found in regular cigarettes. According to the National Center for Health Research, these devices contain 5% nicotine by volume, which is twice as much as the amount of nicotine contained in other e-cigarette brands and equal to the amount that is found in an entire pack of cigarettes. Ingesting the concentrated nicotine may cause the following types of injuries in teens:
- Nicotine addiction
- Developmental disorders
- Abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea
- Nicotine poisoning
Studies of the adolescent brain in children who use e-cigarettes show that there is less activity in the prefrontal cortex region. This area of the brain is responsible for decision-making. This may result in impulsivity and increase the likelihood that teens will make poor decisions in other areas of their lives.
In addition, other brands of e-cigarettes contain diacetyl, which is highly toxic when it is vaporized. This substance can cause popcorn lung in people who vape.
Parents of children who have developed nicotine addictions from vaping may have to spend money to send them to rehab. If the kids have nicotine poisoning, they can have seizures or even comas, which may necessitate hospital intervention and treatment. The children may also develop lifelong developmental disorders, permanently altering the quality of their lives.
Vaping Problems for schools
The popularity of vaping has caused major problems for school districts around the country. Teens are able to conceal the devices and use them in their cars, in school bathrooms, and even in classrooms. The devices emit fruity odors that might not be noticed. Teachers and administrators alike have to spend time policing the schools to prevent vaping, and administrators must spend time on disciplining kids with a nicotine addiction rather than on other important educational responsibilities.
Altria addiction lawsuits
Parents have filed lawsuits against Altria because of the company’s marketing practices and the targeting of teenagers. Recently, a federal class-action lawsuit was filed against Altria and Phillip Morris in Florida by the parents of a 15-year-old girl who became addicted to nicotine from using the popular smoking device. The class-action lawsuit alleges seven different counts, including deceptive trade practices and fraud.
Parents around the country are also filing individual personal injury claims against Altria and other e-cigarette manufacturers when their teens have developed addictions and have suffered injuries as a result.
School districts may also have grounds to file lawsuits against the manufacturers of e-cigarettes with public nuisance causes of action. Schools have had to spend substantial resources to combat vaping on their grounds, and lawsuits could potentially help them to recoup some of what they have spent. They might also be able to recover money for educational programs to help to prevent teens from choosing to vape in the first place.
Compensation from Juul Vaping Addiction lawsuits
By filing lawsuits against Altria and other e-cigarette manufacturers, the families of the victims and the school districts may be able to recover compensation to pay for their resulting losses. The availability of damages will depend on the types of injuries and their extent and will vary from case to case. Some of the categories of damages that parents might be able to recover on behalf of their children include the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Rehab costs
- Reductions in the future ability to enjoy life
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
Because of the targeted marketing by Altria for its product to teens, it is possible that punitive damages might also be available. In addition to parents of teens, older smokers who use e-cigarettes might be able to recover damages if they have developed cancer, popcorn lung, or other smoking-related diseases from using these devices.
Addiction cases will usually involved minors or young adults up to age 26 years old who started with the Juul and were not a previous smoker prior to using Juul products. If you were not a minor and we can show significant exposure to the Juul products then you may have a case. The big issue with these addiction claims is no prior use until the Juul devices get the person hooked. If prior vaping devices were used the cases are probably disqualified based on early research. Also if you were a prior smoker you more than likely will not have a claim.
We have also seen this vaping culture creep into the youth sports leagues. Similar to tobacco in baseball in the 80;s and 90;s vaping tends to be the go-to in youth sports. Unfortunately, this is to the detriment of our children. The kids are being hooked into becoming lifelong smokers. As we learned with big tobacco cases, lifelong smokers were hooked as kids.
School districts may be able to recover the expenses of hiring additional security to police the schools for vaping. They might also be able to recover compensation for educational programs to combat vaping in their schools.
Contact an attorney who will fight for your kids
If you or your teen have become addicted to nicotine and have suffered injuries and losses because of e-cigarette use, you may have legal rights available to you via Juul Vaping addiction lawsuits. An injury lawyer may be able to review your potential claim and provide you with a fair assessment. If you are a school district representative, an attorney might also be able to provide guidance about filing a public nuisance claim against Altria so that your district can be compensated for the money it has been forced to pay because of the widespread vaping problem. Contact our law firm today to schedule a consultation and to learn more about the rights that you might have.