Despite being marketed as a safer alternative to cigarettes, JUUL and other e-cigarettes can cause injuries and significant health problems to unsuspecting users. This is especially disturbing because it has been discovered in JUUL lawsuits that these products have been marketed to younger consumers, including minors, despite age restrictions. If you or a family member suffered health issues or injuries due to JUUL or other e-cigarettes, we recommend contacting our JUUL lawsuit lawyers immediately.
Filing a JUUL Lawsuit
Many people were enticed to use e-cigarette products like JUUL under the guise that it’s a safer experience than smoking cigarettes. JUUL’s marketing efforts have attracted former cigarette smokers and brand new users with no history of smoking. A new study of trends in e-cigarette use from 2014 to 2018 found higher use among adults aged 18 to 29 who have never smoked combustible cigarettes. Altria Group, the owner of the company that produces Marlboro brand cigarettes, purchased a $12.8 billion stake in Juul in 2018. Now, many people have developed an addiction to the very high concentrations of nicotine found in JUUL and other vaping products. The end result is life-threatening health conditions for some users, especially teenagers and young adults. While there are other e-cigarette manufacturers and suppliers, JUUL is a fast-growing company and controls a large share of the market. It currently holds 75% of the share in the e-cigarette market according to research published in the journal Tobacco Control. Their “fun” flavors and marketing skews to the younger side, attracting more teenagers and young adults. Their product is so popular that some people refer to ‘juuling’ now instead of vaping. JUUL knew it was targeting younger consumers with its marketing choices. That is why it has made some changes now by discontinuing certain flavors and requiring that products be sold only to consumers 21 and over. For example, a Carmel, Indiana teen became addicted to JUUL after first “juuling” when he was 15. His father sued the e-cigarette company alleging that JUUL Labs could have created a product with lower levels of nicotine that was not as enticing to youth without candy flavors and flashy “party mode” rainbow colors when waved around. More than 80 percent of teens who use e-cigarettes said they started with a flavored cigarette, according to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association cited in the lawsuit. These claims caused the FDA early in 2020 to order companies to pull certain flavored e-cigarette cartridges from their shelves and promised regulatory action if not removed within a month, and further required that the products be sold only to consumers 21 and over. Tobacco or menthol flavored cartridges are still allowed. JUUL failed to issue any warning indicating the dangers of its product. Due to the company’s negligence and false marketing, thousands of unsuspecting consumers are now struggling to quit using e-cigarettes and battling health problems. According to The National Law Review, several suits have been filed by parents or guardians on behalf of teenage children. By filing a JUUL lawsuit, you can help hold this company accountable for your family’s injuries. Retain Gerling Law, and our JUUL lawsuit attorneys can help you pursue the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.
Hiring an Attorney to Help You with Your Claim Against JUUL
This type of litigation is very complex. You need a skilled JUUL lawsuit attorney representing you. With many plaintiffs suffering from serious health effects and nicotine addiction, you need a law firm that has experience with high-exposure product liability cases. This type of litigation involves defendants with bottomless pockets who will allow the case to spend years in litigation to avoid paying anything out to you or your family. As of July 22, 2020, there were 758 JUUL lawsuits pending from various states throughout the United States consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL), MDL-2913. The cases represented both class action lawsuits and individual personal injury cases filed in four states. The litigation is expected to continue growing. The plaintiffs’ claims in the lawsuits are that JUUL:
- targeted youth, including minors, in its marketing;
- promoted nicotine use;
- failed to warn that its nicotine products are more potent and addictive than tobacco cigarettes; and
- produces products that are defective and unreasonably dangerous.
Is JUUL Bad for Your Health?
Vaping has been found to be a risk factor for COVID-19 in teens and young adults based on a recent study showing that e-cigarette use and smoking traditional cigarettes by U.S. teenagers and young adults is associated with a greater likelihood of contracting COVID-19. Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine published their findings in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The authors said the findings bring new urgency to efforts by policy makers, school officials, community leaders, and others to educate the public about the link between smoking and COVID-19. They also urged more regulation of the e-cigarette industry. “The FDA should eliminate the sale and marketing of all e-cigs right now. There is too much concern over their health impact and on youth use to keep them on the market,” said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, FSAHM, a professor of pediatrics and research director in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Stanford University, in an email to The American Journal of Managed Care®. Halper-Felsher said pulmonologists are still seeing cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI), which came to light last summer after teens and young adults started showing up in emergency departments across the country with a mysterious lung illness. It was later determined, based on reports, that the products contained tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and vitamin E acetate. The last report, made as COVID-19 began community transmission, said that 2807 individuals were sickened by February 18, 2020. Of those, 68 people died. The last regulatory action the FDA took on e-cigarettes came in January, but Halpern-Felsher said it does not go far enough. According to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that inhaling the two main ingredients in e-cigarettes—propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin—is dangerous, even in small doses. Vaping exposes users to a significant level of toxins. Researchers don’t know the full extent of long-term consequences yet since e-cigarettes are not even a decade old. They can now tell that inhaling these chemicals can leave consumers with irreversible lung diseases and damage. That news is especially concerning to parents whose children are becoming addicted to these dangerous products. As research continues into the health risks and potential long term damage that JUUL may cause, medical researchers see new diseases and conditions. One of these is bronchiolitis obliterans. This disease is also known as “popcorn lung.” The name was coined after workers in a microwave popcorn factory developed this irreversible lung disease from breathing in diacetyl found in the flavored chemicals used in certain food products, like butter or caramel in microwave popcorn. This disease results in wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. The symptoms are very similar to those seen with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). You can find diacetyl in many e-cigarette flavors. Despite the fact that inhaling this chemical was deemed harmful for factory workers, e-cigarette users are now directly inhaling it into their lungs. JUUL claims their products do not contain diacetyl, but many other brands use it in numerous flavors.
Side Effects of JUUL
JUUL and other vaping products release significant amounts of nicotine into your lungs. If you are a JUUL user and experienced any of these symptoms, we recommend that you stop using it immediately. Some of the most common side effects of using JUUL include:
- Bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia (BOOP) a/k/a cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP)
- Strong addiction;
- Nicotine poisoning;
- Cardiovascular disease or other heart problems;
- Developmental and reproductive problems;
- Altered brain development;
- Increased risk of future cigarette use;
- Suicidal thoughts or suicidal attempts;
- Heart attacks;
- Behavioral problems;
- Mental health problems;
- Respiratory failure;
- Lung irritation, damage, and diseases;
- Popcorn lung;
- EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product-use associated lung injury);
- Complications during pregnancy;
- Congenital disabilities;
- Reduced immune response;
- Stroke or seizures;
- Heart attack,
- Respiratory failure, and
Not everyone will react the same to vaping. Don’t rule out any health problems because they aren’t on this list. Get in to see a medical professional as soon as possible to diagnose what is wrong. There are also concerns about secondhand emissions from e-cigarettes. The Surgeon General warned people in 2016 that secondhand emissions from vaping contain “nicotine; ultrafine particles; flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust; and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead.” Defective batteries are another potential safety issue with JUUL and vaping products. Some of these batteries have caused fires and even explosions. Numerous people suffered severe injuries from these fires. In most cases, the fires started while the e-cigarette was charging.
Explosion Related Injuries
- Severe burns, scarring and disfigurement
- Injuries to the tongue and mouth
- Damage to hands and fingers, including amputations
- Eye damage and potential vision loss
- Tooth damage and tooth loss
As long-term health implications continue to be studied, other side effects could be added to the list in time. If you or someone in your family has developed any health conditions after using JUUL or another type of e-cigarette, contact our office to discuss filing a lawsuit.
Dangers of JUUL for Kids
JUUL has released some educational programs it claims are intended to stop teenagers from using JUUL and other vaping products. Instead, e-cigarette use among teenagers has continued to increase sharply in recent years. For example, around 11% of 12th-grade students in the United States reported using nicotine vaping products. By 2019, the number jumped to 25%. The numbers among 8th-grade and 10th-grade students also saw increases. Experts are especially worried about teenagers and young adults who start vaping. The brain is still developing during adolescence, especially the part responsible for impulse control and decision making. Kids and young adults are at a higher risk of irreversible damage when introducing nicotine to their developing brains. It can lower impulse control, cause mood disorders, and increase the risk of nicotine addiction. Nicotine exposure can also alter how synapses form, leading to problems with learning and attention. The brain continues to grow until around age 25. During this time, the brain forms synapses faster. The developing brain is what causes younger people to become more easily addicted. It can also lead them to develop addictions to other drugs like cocaine. Kids and young adults are more likely to use other tobacco products as well, including cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, hookah, and cigars. Some e-cigarettes are even used to smoke drugs like marijuana. JUUL’s products include slick designs, no bigger than a flash drive in some cases. The marketing makes it seem like smoking is cool again, especially since they are odorless. Despite changes JUUL has made, vaping continues to attract younger and younger users.
Process of a JUUL Lawsuit
Once you are ready to pursue a lawsuit, you need to start obtaining evidence for your case. Hopefully, by now you have already stopped or significantly decreased your usage of JUUL products. To bring a successful JUUL lawsuit, you need to gather as much evidence as possible. This evidence includes information on which JUUL products you used, how often you used them, and what led to your health problems and other injuries. You should preserve the e-cigarette device as well as any vaping fluid containers and packaging. Helpful pieces of evidence you can start putting together immediately include:
- Receipts for JUUL purchases;
- Billing or shipping information on purchases;
- Any photographic evidence showing you using JUUL products;
- Medical reports and billings related to treatment for JUUL injuries; and
- Other related records.
You should also start a journal that chronicles your JUUL usage. Discuss how and when you began using JUUL, any addiction problems, how your injuries progressed, etc. Any information that is relevant to your case should be included as well. Make sure to document conversations with your medical providers about the cause of your injuries. Once we have a more comprehensive picture of your JUUL usage and injuries, we can assess your damages. Usual compensation may include reimbursement for doctor visits, hospitalizations, and other necessary treatment, like an addiction program. You can also pursue compensation for your physical pain and suffering and mental anguish. In some cases, a JUUL lawsuit may qualify you for punitive damages in addition to your compensatory damages. If the court opts to award punitive damages, this is compensation meant to punish the defendant and deter them, or anyone else, from acting similarly.
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I called my insurance company to start my claim – then I immediately called Gerling. They know the laws; they know the ins and outs. If you want something done – and done right – call Gerling. They know what they are doing.
Contact a JUUL Lawsuit Attorney
Companies like JUUL need to be held accountable for their wrongdoings. JUUL has violated numerous consumer fraud laws and failed to warn consumers about the dangers of using its products. You deserve compensation for your injuries that JUUL caused. Do not let them, or other e-cigarette companies, get away with this any longer. The best way to fight them is by filing a JUUL lawsuit.
We can send a much stronger message as more people come forward and file a lawsuit against JUUL. Consumers need to take a stand now and help protect our younger generation from dangerous products like JUUL. If you believe you might qualify to participate in a lawsuit, you need to speak with an experienced JUUL lawsuit attorney right away.
Contact Gerling Law today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how the litigation process works. We have decades of experience fighting large companies in product liability cases. You need a firm that has the skills and financial resources to take on a company like JUUL.
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