It’s likely that you’ve heard the buzz surrounding JUUL products. JUUL is facing many lawsuits on multiple fronts, ranging from physical to behavioral consequences. Our team at Heninger Garrison Davis has been focusing on addressing JUUL-related injury and addiction cases. Our concern is that JUUL has been targeting our children and youth, with their discreet design and attractive flavors.
Americans are slowly experiencing the consequences of their investment into vapes and e-cigarettes. According to the New York Times, a total of 29 deaths have been linked to vape-related lung illnesses and nearly 1,299 people have incurred a vape-related injury. It’s possible that a lot of these claims aren’t JUUL related, but it opens up the floor to take a closer look into the tobacco-less industry.
Even in the midst of public scrutiny, clearly-detailed reports, and threat of illness or death – vape and JUUL sales aren’t seeing much of a decline. In fact, more and more young people are purchasing JUULs to keep up with the ongoing social trends of e-smoking.
Don’t fool with the JUUL
JUUL trends are affecting the lives of thousands of people throughout the United States- now is the time to take action. Has marketing and digital media influenced the popularity of JUUL? Or have they been targeting our kids from the beginning? We sat down with our attorney and partner, Bill Bross on what sets this personal injury case apart from the rest.
What is JUUL?
JUUL, a product of JUUL Labs, is a brand of e-cigarettes that has become so popular that it accounts for nearly 70 percent of the $2 billion e-cigarette market. Founded on the idea of creating a product to help adults stop smoking cigarettes, JUUL has used colorful advertisements and fruity flavors to lead adults away from cigarettes.
That said, JUUL isn’t getting rid of cigarettes, it’s helping. A recent federal survey shows 27.5 percent of high school students have used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days – a significant increase compared to last year’s 20.8 percent.
The risks of JUUL and vaping
Like other smoking alternatives, the inhalation of chemical substances will always come with a risk. JUUL is no exception. Chemical intake is a known risk, but in JUUL’s case, are there other factors? Experts across the nation are saying yes – accusing JUUL of using both marketing techniques and fruity flavors to target young users.
JUUL products are especially popular among youth because they are easy to use and no prior experience or knowledge is needed. Their slim design makes it easy to discreetly vape, and parents could easily mistake the device for a USB drive. Unlike other vape devices, there aren’t any buttons or adjustments, to intake nicotine all they need to do us put a JUUL in their mouth and inhale.
People across the nation are claiming that the JUUL company has been employing brightly-colored ads and flavors to reach out directly to young people – and they aren’t wrong.
Although the brand has traditional flavors available (Virginia tobacco, classic tobacco, menthol and mint), the younger demographic is enticed by their fruitier flavors like mango, creme, fruit and cucumber.
It’s clear that vaping will always appear to be the “healthier” option compared to the more well documented risks of smoking cigarettes. While vape juice and e-cigarettes have a different chemical makeup, the chemicals you’re inhaling are quite similar to traditional cigarettes. However, when smoking a JUUL, the chemicals in question are being consumed at nearly twice the rate of traditional cigarettes.
How JUUL affects our youth
In addition to the chemical effects described above, the consequences on the bodies of underage children are profound. Smoking at a young age significantly decreases activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This influences a person’s cognitive behavior, while increasing sensitivity to other drugs and impulsivity. It’s also known to hinder lung development if the habit is started in adolescence.
“Addiction is a serious problem. People are getting addicted to nicotine; most importantly, our kids. Studies focusing on people who haven’t started smoking prior to JUUL say that it’s affecting young people differently,” Bill Bross stated. “People have been hospitalized for pneumonia, lung problems and other unknown causes. We’ve had a couple of people that have needed to be put into a medical coma. Individuals have had seizure activity, cardiac, and heart attacks.”
Initial lawsuits over JUUL
“Heninger Garrison Davis filed one of the first class action cases in Los Angeles, CA. During this case, they filed a motion to follow JUUL over time,” Bross said. “A separate lawsuit that was filed with local counsel addressed personal injury cases and people who have become addicted.”
Since then, there have been thousands of cases filed across the country. And this is just the beginning. Similar to the fight against Big Tobacco, more and more people are coming forward in response to health concerns that seem to be increasing day by day.
In the last few weeks, there have been many multidistrict litigations. Thousands of cases have been filed in federal court, where it’s been decided if there’s enough evidence to file the cases. Nationwide JUUL cases have been centralized to the San Francisco area. Heninger Garrison Davis is filing in local, state courts as well as in California.
With over 28 practicing attorneys at Heninger Garrison Davis, our experience in practicing personal injury cases spans up to 40 years. And we’ve been handling JUUL claims since their inception.
“Dr. François M. Blaudeau brought it to our attention – he’s an attorney for Heninger Garrison Davis, as well as a practicing physician. He founded the Southern Institute for Legal and Medical Affairs and advocates for patients’ and physicians’ rights,” Bross said.
Bross continued, “Our firm has served a variety of clients filing lung injury or addiction cases. A majority of cases we file are on behalf of high school and college aged students,” Bross stated. “Some adults file on their own, but minors can’t file without involving their parents. In total, Heninger Garrison Davis has served hundreds of clients involved with JUUL-related injuries or illnesses.”
“When we initially started, there was little info about JUUL devices. Now, there’s a lot more that’s known and a lot of it is related to disease and even death. We’re seeing a lot more involvement with parents. We’re seeing more older kids coming forward. Even younger kids in their low teens are filling out leads to avoid involving their parents.” Bross said.
An increasing number of teens are gaining access to JUUL products any way they can:
- Older kids purchase them for younger kids
- Kids can just walk into the stores and purchase themselves
- Kids are finding and purchasing them online
- Parents believe this is a “healthier” option and purchase for their kids
With the surfacing of health concerns and illness, many people have taken action against JUUL devices and flavors. Several states have already implemented a higher age of purchase, requiring that in order to purchase a JUUL, you have to be 21 or older. However, like most social changes, this takes time.
- April 2018– The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that JUUL Labs provide them with documents to help “better understand the reportedly high rates of youth use and the particular youth appeal of these products.” In addition, they also requested documents on the design of the JUUL, research on its safety, and whether or not certain features were appealing to the younger age groups.
- June 2018– JUUL removes models from social media advertisements and will only post testimonials from converted smokers.
- July 2018– JUUL introduces 3 percent nicotine pods so that users can taper their nicotine levels.
- July 2019– The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to ban the sale of e-cigarettes within city limits until they go through the FDA regulatory process.
- September 2019– To combat the availability of JUUL products in reaching youth, the FDA requested that all JUUL products be removed from the eBay platform.
- September 2019– CBS, WarnerMedia and Viacom announced their decision to drop all e-cigarette advertising amid health concerns related to a series of vape-related lung illness concerns and the rising levels of teen vaping.
- October 2019– JUUL suspends the sale of non-tobacco, non-menthol-based flavors in the United States.
How to file a claim against JUUL
If you believe that you or someone you know is a victim of JUUL products, please reach out to us. We are handling JUUL-related personal injury lawsuits at no cost to you.
What could qualify you to file a claim:
- Addiction – with or without treatment.
- Any person, and especially high school or college students, who have been diagnosed with hypersensitivity pneumonitis, pneumonia or an eosinophilic pneumonia that required medical treatment including hospitalization. JUUL smokers can quickly develop a significant pneumonia that may require ICU care including mechanical ventilation.
- Any person who has developed COPD or advanced asthma after using JUUL products.
- Any person that has a heart attack (myocardial infarction) after using JUUL products.
- Eligible applicants should have never smoked traditional cigarettes prior to smoking JUUL.
If this sounds like you, please fill out an online claim or call 1-800-222-9657 for a free claim evaluation. A member of our staff will reach out to you to discuss your options. You may be entitled to monetary compensation.
Partner with Heninger Garrison Davis to File a Claim Against JUUL
Heninger Garrison Davis is Alabama’s most prolific civil litigation law firm based in Birmingham, Alabama. We focus on personal injury, business litigation, mass tort and class action cases. We possess the sophisticated legal skills, financial resources and multi-layered support needed to take on the world’s most powerful corporations. Our team works hard to cut through the complexity, get to the heart of the problem and win what matters the most.