Numerous lawsuits have been filed against the e-cigarette company Juul Labs for targeting minors with its addictive and potentially carcinogenic vape pens. The manufacturer has already agreed to pay $40 million to the state of North Carolina in a recent settlement. And it isn’t just states that are suing.
North Carolina filed a lawsuit in 2019, alleging that Juul attracted minors with kid-friendly flavors but misrepresented the potential dangers from nicotine addiction and lung exposure to chemicals. The company suspended sales of its flavored pods in October 2019 and the settlement also included some marketing changes in North Carolina, including only selling Juul products behind the counter and using a barcode scanner to validate IDs. In addition, the $40 million will be used to fund efforts to prevent e-cigarette addiction and further research.
Suits have also been filed by Illinois, New York, California, Massachusetts, Washington, Hawaii, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. After Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro asked for a statewide ban of all Juul products, citing the effect on young people, Juul responded that adults are its target market, and it would cooperate with public health officials, regulators and stakeholders to combat underage use. In addition, some Pennsylvania school districts are joining in the fight against vaping, including Red Lion School District in York and the Erie School District.
A surge of vaping-related lung illnesses is what prompted the action. According to Medical News Today, vaping causes serious side effects such as coughing, sore throat, headaches, and nausea. Potential long-terms risks include respiratory issues, damage to lung tissue, reproductive and circulatory issues. Vaping exposes the body to harmful substances. The vapor’s ultrafine particles can reach deep into the lungs. In addition to nicotine, which is highly addictive, the vapor may include volatile organic compounds, heavy metals, carbonyl compounds, and artificial flavors with harmful ingredients.
If you or someone you love has experienced a vaping-related lung illnesses and would like to talk to an attorney experienced in catastrophic personal injury cases, please reach out to us. Our firm is recognized as a leader in litigating injury cases throughout Pennsylvania.