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A young man from Pennsylvania indicates that he suffers from JUUL nicotine addiction, after he started using the vaping pods in his mid-20s, unaware it would result in a life-long habit.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Matthew Sargent in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Febuary 18, claiming the manufacturers intentionally developed an especially addictive product targeted toward young users, while failing to warn about the nicotine exposure levels and dangers associated with vaping.
Sargent was in his mid-20s when he began using the e-cigarette JUUL in 2018, claiming that he was unaware of the amount of nicotine in JUUL vaping pod cartridges and became addicted, according to the lawsuit.
JUUL was just introduced in 2015, but quickly became the most widely used vaping product on the market, following a marketing scheme that promoted the controversial vape pod toward young users, creating new nicotine addictions that are expected to drive JUUL sales for decades.
While nicotine warnings were not added until 2018, each JUUL pod is the equivalent of about an entire pack of cigarettes, yet they were marketed as a safer alternative to smoking and were promoted for user by teens, young adults and prior non-smokers.
The addictive JUUL pods are designed to look like USB drives, allowing students to hide their vaping habit from teachers, parents and other adults. The high levels of nicotine delivered by each pod, have resulted in a new generation of Americans left with a life-long nicotine addiction.
“Plaintiff has endured and continues to suffer the mental anguish and psychological trauma of living with the knowledge that Plaintiff has suffered serious and dangerous side effects including, inter alia nicotine addiction, as well as other severe and personal injuries which are permanent and lasting in nature, physical pain and mental anguish, including diminished enjoyment of life, as well as the need for lifelong medical treatment, and monitoring and/or medications,” the lawsuit notes.
JUUL Vaping Addiction Epidemic
Recent FDA data indicates teen e-cigarette use has reached epidemic levels in the United States, and JUUL Labs has been accused of fueling the growing teen nicotine addiction problems in the United States.
In addition to designing JUUL to look like a USB thumb drive, the manufacturer also marketed and sold JUUL pods in various candy-like flavors, which has resulted in a large number of teens and prior non-smokers starting to vape, and developing addictions to the high levels of nicotine contained in the pods.
In September 2019, the FDA issued a warning letter to JUUL, indicating there was evidence it told school-aged children that its products were safer than cigarettes, which has not been proven.
In addition to Sargent’s lawsuit, a growing number of JUUL lawsuits and class action claims have been filed nationwide. Given similar questions of fact and law raised in complaints brought throughout the federal court system, the JUUL litigation has been centralized before U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick III in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, which is where JUUL Labs, Inc.’s San Francisco headquarters are located.
As JUUL addiction lawyers continue to review and file claims in the coming months, the litigation is expected to continue to grow, and is likely to encompass tens of thousands of complaints.