JUUL Labs Tried To Addict Children To “Most Toxic Of All Substances”, Lawsuit Claims
Another lawsuit has been filed against the makers of JUUL e-cigarettes, alleging the company should be required to reimburse a local school district for costs associated with its ongoing battle against teen JUUL nicotine addictions, and indicating that the company intentionally marketed its vaping products to create a new generation of nicotine addicts.
Menifee County Public Schools filed the complaint (PDF) against JUUL Labs, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on July 21, saying the company “mined the middle and high school environments” in an effort to make life-long customers out of children, despite the health risks of nicotine and despite the fact that such efforts are illegal.
JUUL is a popular e-cigarette, which was just introduced in 2015, but quickly become the most widely used vaping product among teens, following years of aggressive marketing directed to minors 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.
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The company recruited thousands of on-line, social media “influencers” to market JUULing toward teens, according to the complaint, which indicates the resulting rampant use of JUUL among teenagers has forced school districts to assign significant resources to combat the problem.
“Nicotine is one of the most toxic of all poisons. Nicotine is also one of the most addicting agents,” the Kentucky school district’s lawsuit notes. “JUUL successfully created a misleading impression that JUUL products were intended for youth and healthy.”
Menifee County Public Schools joins a growing number of other school districts which have filed lawsuits in recent months, alleging that the JUULing trend was predictable, avoidable, likely intentional, and claiming the problem has cost schools nationwide as they battle to counsel addicted youths, put measures in control to fight the spread of vaping among their students, and deal with the fallout.
Facing mounting pressure and even criminal investigations, JUUL has ended advertising in the U.S. and removed nearly all of its flavored products from the market.
As a growing number of product liability and class action complaints continued to be filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide, a panel of federal judges decided to consolidate all JUUL nicotine addiction lawsuits before 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.
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