Vaping has overtaken the Americans like a storm. The ongoing Juul lawsuits have raised the alarm among the Americans about the vaping epidemic that has swept over the country’s youth. Parents of children and youths in America should be beware of electronic cigarette vaping by their kids. Carelessness can even claim lives. This blog takes you through the effects of e-cigarettes on the youth, the complications, and the status of the Juul lawsuit 2022 against e-cigarettes.
When many high school and middle school students and young adults became addicted to the appealing flavors of Juul Labs Inc.’s e-cigarettes or vape pods, the state of North Carolina launched an investigation in 2018. North Carolina was the first state to bring the vaping behemoth before the law in 2019 for enticing even middle school students with fruit-flavored vaping devices.
PAX Labs was the original name of Juul Labs, Inc. However, it underwent a transformation in 2017 when it was renamed Juul Labs Inc. The tobacco giant entered the e-cigarette market by claiming to be marketing a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. Altria Inc. had invested around $12.8 billion by acquiring 35% of stakes in Juul in December 2018. However, after all the lawsuits, Altria has cut down its stakes in Juul and at present, it has only stakes worth $1.7 billion.
To attract the youth, Juul created small attractive USB-like devices with sweet flavors such as mango, cucumber, mint, etc. These electronic cigarettes are blamed for containing highly addictive nicotine, which has resulted in a youth vaping epidemic.
Juul has found a great leap in the initial stage with around 70% of the e-cigarette market under their control with a $38 billion market value. Being defamed by the multimillion lawsuits that came in line, Juul had found de-escalation in their sales. It had a nosedive from the peak in sales in 2020 to a $5 billion market value.
The most unexpected blow to Juul was when its formal financial executive Siddharth Breja, came against Juul with a lawsuit. He alleged that he was terminated for intimating the company of a serious issue that they had sold around a million contaminated mint-flavored e-cigarettes.
According to the statistical data by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, in 2020, around 3 million high school students and 600,000 middle school students were using electronic cigarettes. Among them, around 83 percent of them used flavored e-cigarettes. Though the governments have restricted the selling of e-cigarettes to youngsters below 21 years, the tobacco manufacturing companies and marketing agencies never stopped targeting the youth. That’s the reason for the vaping epidemic.
However, thanks to the efforts taken by the state governments and the e-cigarette litigations like Juul lawsuits filed, the number has decreased a little. In 2021, approximately 1.70 million high school students and 300,000 middle school students were using e-cigarettes.
Around 85 percent of them were addicted to flavored e-cigarettes. The most liked flavor was fruit by the high and middle school students, and candy, desserts, mint, and menthol trailed behind it. Among these numbers, approximately 5.7% of high school students and 12.5% of middle school students used Juul products.
Juul is accessible in the market in two different nicotine strengths. The 5 percent of the 0.7 milliliters has 50 milligrams, whereas the 3 percent has 23 milligrams per vaping pod. Different studies have proved that the nicotine level in each Juul vape pod is 39.3 to 48.3 mg. A 1 ml vaping pod can give 100 puffs, equal to 10 cigarettes. The different flavors used are Cool Mint, Fruit Medley, Creme Brulee, and Virginia Tobacco. Juul claims that they use non-tobacco sourced “nicotine salts”.
Juul uses nicotine salts, propylene glycol, and glycerin solvents to form the vaping fluid. It is said to have contaminants in the liquids. These ingredients react and become toxic to the human body when heated up.
However, studies have revealed that Juul e-pods have various toxic chemical compounds that Juul does not list. Though it claimed to use non-nicotine products, Juul pods are equal to the traditional cigarettes when checked 10 minutes after smoking. Juul pods have highly addictive nicotine in them.
Health Hazards of E-cigarettes
It is said that vaping e-cigarettes is less dangerous than smoking normal cigarettes. However, even vaping is not safe. E-cigarettes contain the nicotine juice extracted from tobacco. The nicotine juice, the flavoring agents, and the chemicals are heated enough to form the vapor to inhale. The vapor that comes out would contain many chemicals that could be toxic.
The use of unknown chemicals and additives makes the vaping juice in the e-pods more hazardous to use. The long-term addiction to e-cigarettes was found to be causing defects in brain development and long-term lung diseases.
The common symptoms like persisting cough, chest pain, breathing difficulties, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, seizures, and fatigue are like the hidden mammoth snake’s tail. Many more are yet to be revealed. It is said that e-cigarettes can damage the brain, lungs, and heart and can cause tumors. Premature births and stillbirths occur in the case of pregnant women.
Don’t think that the highly addictive nicotine side effects are causing health issues. It is the addictive chemicals in the e-pods that are adding fuel to the fire by damaging the DNA and incapacitating the body to repair the injuries.
E-cigarette or vaping use associated lung injury (EVALI) appeared in 2019. Many patients got admitted to the hospitals for vaping-related lung injuries, which alerted the physicians. The tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in electronic cigarettes contributes to EVALI.
Juul is one of the ten companies facing product liability and multi-district class action lawsuits in 2022. At the beginning of this blog, we have seen how the Juul lawsuits started surfacing in 2019. After North Carolina brought Juul before the court, many other Juul lawsuits came in a procession. As per a report in July 2021, Juul was facing around 2300 Juul lawsuits all around the United States joined as multidistrict litigation (MDL), as MDL- 2913.
When more than 42 people lost their lives to lung illnesses after the complications of vaping, California and Los Angeles County have proceeded with many a class action lawsuit against Juul. The main allegation behind the lawsuits was that they provided samples at events, concerts, street festivals, and movie screenings. Juul has failed to ensure that its products are not sold to minors. It has sent the marketing emails to the address of the kids without confirming their age. It also has failed to give warning as the chemicals may cause congenital disabilities or reproductive issues.
An eighteen-year-old named Daniel David Wakefield was vaping Juul vape pods from his 15th year and was addicted to nicotine. He had acquired lung illness and succumbed to death due to breathing issues. His mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging Juul for the premature death of her son. It was alleged that he was attracted by the social media ads and email marketing Juul. Its sleek design and different flavors lured him to use that. Nicotine patches had to be used when he was hospitalized to manage him. This single piece of evidence stands for the gruesome after-effects of Juul’s vape pods.
As per the current information, thirteen states and many school districts have filed mass tort litigations against Juul Labs, Inc. for making teenagers addicted to the highly concentrated nicotine in the e-cigarettes masked under pleasing flavors. Even using it a couple of times make them addicted to it.
Recently, Juul has appealed for the depreciation of the two lawsuits filed by Regis Mohawk Tribe and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. A federal judge in California has disavowed to deprecate those bellwether lawsuits. They have filed Juul lawsuits under Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), claiming that Juul has aimed at the minors through enticing marketing strategies and appealing flavored e-cigarettes that attracted the tribal youth.
As per the latest update, around 24 Juul lawsuits are going to trial in 2022. The first of them is scheduled for February 22, and the rest will follow on March 28, May 9, and August 1. The result of these bellwether lawsuits will definitely reflect on the other settlements waiting to be trialed. Therefore, all the plaintiffs are in great expectation to get the desired outcome in this first pool of Juul lawsuits 2022.
The lawsuit filed by the Natrona County School District has been chosen as one of twelve bellwether cases, as a guide for attorneys to take over the vaping giant. Whether Juul reaches a settlement or prepares for a court trial, in this case, will indicate how Juul will handle the 250 other Juul vape lawsuits filed against it. The date for the trial in this matter going to be held in the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming has yet to be determined. The San Francisco Unified School District’s bellwether case is set for trial in northern California federal district court in June 2023.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools has joined dozens of other school districts, including Chicago, in suing Juul Labs, and dozens of them were represented by Federico’s law firm. The school system’s attorney, Phil Federico, told The Wall Street Journal on 05/02/2022 that the five-count lawsuit alleges Juul Labs is marketing its products to children with cotton candy and tooty fruity flavored products.
Nathan, an eighth-grader, claims that every time he enters a bathroom at his school, he sees students skipping class and vaping, causing the bathroom to fog up. A Northeast High School student stated that anyone of any age can easily purchase vapes because a lot of places did not check for the age of the buyer.
In Juul lawsuits 2021, only two cases reached the final settlement. North Carolina is the first state to reach a settlement against the vaping giant Juul Labs, Inc. in June 2021. The North Carolina attorney Josh Stein had told that Juul has “lit the spark and fanned the flames of a vaping epidemic among our children.” Juul has sought the settlement in haste to avoid a Juul ban from the FDA. However, it has not admitted to the allegations raised against it. Juul has to pay $40 million to settle the case.
In November 2021, Arizona became the second state to reach a Juul lawsuit settlement of $14.5 million against Juul for marketing e-cigarettes to the underage. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich informed that $12.5 million would be used for anti-addiction programs out of the settlement. The rest of the money would be used for consumer protection funds and the expenses for litigation.
Here’s an update on Juul’s most recent Juul lawsuit compensation with the state of Washington. It has agreed to pay $22.5 million as a Juul lawsuit payout in April 2022 and has pledged to carry out the mandated reforms. In 2020, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit against Juul for targeting minors in Washington state. He accused the vaping behemoth of deceiving young people about the addictive nature of their product.
Juul has been asked to remove all appealing product advertisements on social media. It must monitor consumer ages and ensure that strategies are in place to prevent minors from obtaining vaping pods. Before delivering the product, the youngsters’ identity should be verified. Juul must send undercover agents to ensure that all retailers are selling Juul products in accordance with the restrictions.
Restrictions on E-cigarettes and Juul
Jull had faced a rough phase after the series of lawsuits filed against it. It has to pull most of the flavored e-pods from the market after the reciprocal from the regulators. In September 2021, the FDA had announced a denial for marketing the flavored e-cigarettes and vaping pods including Juul, as there was no evidence that it would help adult smokers to quit smoking and for misleading the younger generation into smoking. Juul had to add a warning label on the vaping pod packages that it contained nicotine and it’s an addictive chemical.
FDA issued a warning to Juul for violating the federal regulations. Juul had not applied for approval for producing and selling its vaping pods as a safe alternative to traditional smoking. It had asked Juul to provide more details on the nicotine salts in e-fluids and proof for its claims.
Following the warning from FDA, Juul had stopped most of its advertising in the U.S. and introduced a new age-screening system in the stores to restrict minors from getting the e-cigarettes. They had sponsored research that proved that more than 40 percent of adult smokers quit smoking because of Juul’s e-cigarettes. We aren’t sure how far this is real. However, the long-term damages are yet to be researched.
The FDA was reviewing marketing applications from Juul and hundreds of other companies in response to anti-tobacco groups’ requests to impose restrictions on products that have contributed to the youth vaping epidemic over the last decade. As per the latest update on June 23rd, 2022, the FDA denied Juul’s application to continue selling its vaping device and four types of liquid pods: Virginia-tobacco-flavored and menthol-flavored pods with nicotine levels of 5% and 3%, respectively, and asked it to stop selling all of its products.
Juul filed an emergency motion with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, seeking a stay of the FDA ban’s implementation. On June 24th, a three-judge panel of the appeals court granted Juul a temporary reprieve and halted the FDA ban. the court has asked for an explanation from the FDA. Let’s wait and see what stand the court is going to take in this. Is JUUL going out of business in 2022? stay with us. we will update you soon.
Though Juul has withdrawn all flavored e-pods from the market other than tobacco and menthol-flavored ones, it is not in a safe zone from being expelled from the e-cigarette market. There are chances for the FDA to take stringent action against Juul. We are not sure what’s going to happen to the past decade’s king of the e-cigarette market in Juul lawsuits 2022. But for sure, the ongoing and new lawsuits that are arising are like the “sword of Damocles” dangling on its head. It has to face the consequences of its pernicious actions.
As we have seen throughout the blog, it is evident that Juul has tried vigorously marketing their e-cigarettes among youngsters including minors, through social media, emails, and other marketing strategies. This misleading marketing made innocent children addicted to highly concentrated nicotine. We should thank the school districts and state governments for taking the culprit before the law on time to harness its giant leaps. If you are affected due to Juul e-cigarettes as a minor you can contact a Juul lawyer and either join a Juul class action lawsuit or pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
As a tail end, I wish to draw your attention to something related to this too. When the FDA is reviewing the adverse effects of existing e-cigarettes to regulate them, synthetic nicotine e-cigarettes are silently acquiring the shelves to be sold. Since synthetic nicotine does not come under the existing categories of the FDA, the well-wishers want the FDA to categorize them under drugs and regulate them too. We are not sure what chemicals and illicit additives are used to prepare the synthetic nicotine. However, I feel “prevention is better than cure”. Let’s see how FDA is going to bell the cat.
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