JUUL Vaping Lawsuit Claims Teen Became Hooked Due to Deceptive Marketing Targeting Children
After becoming addicted to vaping when he was 17 years old, a California teen has filed a product liability lawsuit against JUUL Labs and other defendants, indicating that they purposefully preyed on underage customers to get them addicted to nicotine and electronic cigarette devices.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Cody Boyens in California Superior Court on July 23, indicating that he was attracted to JUUL vaping by the use of flavors and marketing campaigns intended to target teens.
Boyens began vaping using JUUL pods when he was 17, and indicates that now has a nicotine addiction.
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“Plaintiff did not know how much nicotine JUUL contained or that JUUL was specifically developed to create and sustain a nicotine addiction when he began using it,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiff was attracted to and used JUUL’s Mango and Mint flavors.”
In recent years, JUUL vape pens have quickly grown to dominate the market for electronic cigarettes, especially among teens and young adults. The JUUL pods are designed to look like USB thumb drives, allowing the vaping habit to be hidden from parents, teachers and other adults. In addition, the manufacturer sells the product in various candy-like flavors, which critics indicate are designed to encourage non-smokers to begin vaping, leading to JUUL addictions due to the levels of nicotine contained in the pods.
The case joins a growing number of JUUL vaping lawsuits filed by young adults, teenagers and parents, claiming that the manufacturer targeted their addictive product toward teens and withheld important safety warnings.
A recent study indicated that e-cigarette advertising reaches 80% of middle and high school students in the U.S. Another study warns that vaping during adolescence quadruples a teen’s risk of becoming a cigarette tobacco smoker later.
In February, the American Lung Association gave the FDA a failing grade for not doing enough to prevent teens from using and buying e-cigarettes. Vaping is now the most popular form of tobacco youth among U.S. teens, with rates of teen use jumping by 78% from 2017 to 2018 alone.
In 2011, when the FDA first said it would regulate e-cigarettes, only 1.5 percent of teens vaped, but now more than one-third of teens use e-cigarettes.
Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics also called on the federal government to implement more stringent vaping laws across the country, and not wait another year to act.
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