Vaping is being called a national epidemic. JUUL Labs, Inc., the nation’s largest vaping company, and other electronic-cigarette makers have marketed their products as safer alternatives to tobacco cigarettes. Featuring enticing flavors and sleek designs, e-cigarettes have exploded in popularity in recent years, particularly among young people, while traditional cigarettes have declined. But a wave of lawsuits across the country accuse JUUL of selling a product it knows is dangerous and addictive, with life-threatening breathing ailments, hospitalizations and at least one death blamed on its vaping products.
If you or your child has developed a respiratory or other serious health condition after using JUUL products, you may be eligible to recover compensation from the manufacturers if JUUL or other vaping device manufactures’ via a product liability lawsuit. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is currently investigating JUUL vaping lawsuits.
JUUL—a company no one had heard of just a few years ago—is believed to dominate more than 75 percent of the e-cigarette market, due in no small part to its aggressive advertising to youth on social media channels. Its products have grown so popular that “Juul” is used as a verb. But health officials warn that e-cigarettes are not only no safer than tobacco products, they may actually be more addictive and threaten greater damage to the lungs.
If you or a loved one has used JUUL vaping products, you are likely concerned about their health effects and have questions about your legal rights. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is ready to advise you on your legal options and answer your questions about pending vaping-related litigation around the United States.
This page will address the following topics:
- Why is vaping bad for you?
- What medical conditions have been associated with vaping?
- What allegations have been made in the lawsuits against JUUL?
- How can Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers help me bring a claim for a vaping-related illness?
Why is Vaping Bad for You?
E-cigarette use among all groups reportedly increased ten-fold between 2011 and 2016. Vaping among teenagers nearly doubled between 2017 and 2018, rising to 3.6 million users and reversing a long decline in teen cigarette use. JUUL and other makers targeted youth as well as adults who were trying to quit smoking tobacco with marketing that played up e-cigarette products as an appealing and safe alternative to tobacco.
Like tobacco products, JUUL’s “pods,” which are inserted into the e-cigarette device, contain addictive nicotine. They are commonly called electronic nicotine-delivery systems (ENDS). But unlike tobacco, their fruity, candy-like flavors and lack of unpleasant odor—the very qualities touted in JUUL’s advertising—are more likely to encourage heavy usage and give users a false sense of security. Nicotine is believed by medical experts to be especially harmful to teenagers; the demographic JUUL is most accused of targeting, with adverse effects on brain development.
Health experts claim that the technology in e-cigarettes exposes users to greater amounts of nicotine than standard cigarettes, with the result being that millions of teens are becoming rapidly addicted to vaping in a way not seen with tobacco.
Aside from the addictive qualities of nicotine, it is generally agreed that vaping causes harm to the airways, throat, and lungs, risking potential catastrophic and irreversible injury.
What Medical Conditions Have Been Associated With Vaping?
The health dangers of nicotine are long-established, particularly its effects on blood pressure. What’s more, far from being “safer” than tobacco cigarettes as claimed, studies have found e-cigarette vapors to contain many of the same dangerous substances and toxins and cause many of the same harms, which include airway inflammation and obstruction, oxidative stress, and increased susceptibility to infection.
Other reported vaping dangers have included all the following:
- In people under 25, the nicotine in vaping products can permanently alter the structure of the brain and cause personality changes and other cognitive disorders.
- Large doses of nicotine significantly increase blood pressure, heart rate, and stiffening of arteries, and can also cause vascular damage, which raises the risk of stroke, heart attack, and coronary artery disease.
- Respiratory ailments, including chronic bronchitis, as well as increased prevalence and severity of asthma among adolescents have been reported as a result of vaping.
- Seizures and convulsions as a result of nicotine poisoning from excessive nicotine intake.
- Increased risk of pulmonary disease. Some of the flavoring chemicals in vaping fluids are believed to cause a grave condition called “popcorn lung” (bronchiolitis obliterans), which is similar in nature to COPD and characterized by coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. However, it would seem there is still some uncertainty in the medical community over this.
- Although there is yet no definitive research on the subject, some animal studies done to date on exposure to e-cigarette vapor reveal it could possibly lead to lung cancer.
Because vaping is such a new phenomenon, there is much that is still unknown and not understood about its effects. Perhaps the most frightening thing is that unlike tobacco cigarettes, whose ill effects are often not seen until many years after a person picks up the habit, the high nicotine concentration and other chemicals in JUUL and other e-cigarette products are causing more immediate health effects in users who have only been vaping for relatively short periods of time.
What Allegations Have Been Made in the Lawsuits Against JUUL?
JUUL is in the hot seat. It is currently the subject of a congressional inquiry into its marketing, health claims, and financing by the tobacco industry (Altria, parent company of Philip Morris, invested nearly $13 billion in the company in 2018, giving it a 35-percent stake in JUUL). JUUL’s former chief executive officer resigned amid all the controversy in September 2019. The rapid spike in e-cigarette use among teens and associated health concerns has prompted some states to scramble to pass legislation banning sales of vaping products to persons under 21.
JUUL is also the target of a growing mountain of litigation in a number of states, including class-action lawsuits by users and former users, school districts and other government entities.
King’s County, Washington, brought a lawsuit against JUUL after a dozen confirmed cases of vaping-related lung illness in the state, accusing JUUL and its affiliates of fraud, racketeering and conspiracy in targeting of minors.
The first wrongful death suit against the company, filed in California federal court in October 2019, accuses JUUL of specifically targeting teens through “colorful marketing” campaigns characterizing vaping as a fun and “healthy” alternative to cigarettes (Vail v. JUUL Labs Inc. et al.). The suit was brought by the mother of an 18-year-old Florida youth who died from breathing complications after vaping JUUL heavily since age 15. The deceased had been hospitalized once for respiratory issues before his death. The suit alleges JUUL intentionally designed its product to addict young people to nicotine with “attractive and palatable” pods packaged in “youth-friendly colors and flavors that minimize the harsh taste and discomfort of traditional smoking.” It goes further in accusing JUUL of studying the tobacco industry’s playbook in manipulating the nicotine in its products to “maximize” their addictive qualities in order to hook new users.
The various suits also accuse JUUL of carrying inadequate warnings on its product packaging of the highly addictive nature of the nicotine contained in the pods. They accuse the company of aggressive marketing tactics including direct emails to users, promotional offers of free pods, and multiple assurances in its literature that the products are safe.
Also in October 2019, JUUL agreed to stop marketing to teens and to suspend sales of some of its flavored e-cigarettes as part of a legally binding agreement with an environmental group, according to National Public Radio. The Center for Environmental Health had sued the company and other e-cigarette makers for peddling addictive products to youth. The agreement is only enforceable in California, however.
How can Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers Help Me Bring a Claim for a Vaping-Related Illness?
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has represented thousands of clients who were injured by defective products and recovered millions of dollars from manufacturers to compensate clients for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages. Our personal injury attorneys are committed to holding corporations accountable when their deceptive advertising tactics and dangerous products harm the unsuspecting public. If you have contracted a lung disease or other illness or lost a loved one from vaping, we are ready to help you get financial compensation for your medical costs and other losses.
We have the resources needed to go up against well-funded corporations, and we do not charge you any legal fees unless and until we are successful in recovering compensation on your behalf. We are here to answer any questions you have about pending JUUL litigation and your legal rights. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.