With the U.S. in the midst of a vaping crisis, we at Clifford Law Offices want to help keep the members of our community as informed as possible about the dangers of e-cigarettes, especially when it comes to young people, and what victims of this industry can do to fight back.
In recent months, there have been multiple deaths and hundreds of cases of lung injury related to the vaping devices and e-cigarettes made by Juul and other manufacturers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering a ban on flavored e-cigarettes, while some individual states want to ban all e-cigarettes.
Alarmingly, however, this has not stopped the spread of vaping and e-cigarettes, especially among America’s youths. Millions of teenagers have used an e-cigarette at least once, and they are not always aware that the substance they inhale contains nicotine and other harmful chemicals.
Both young adults and their parents have filed individual and class-action lawsuits against Juul in recent months, claiming vaping-related injuries as well as addiction due to marketing tactics intentionally aimed at these younger consumers and minors. We will likely see more of these lawsuits, not less, in the coming months.
WHAT IS JUUL?
Juul is a USB-shaped e-cigarette that delivers nicotine just as a regular cigarette would, only without the tobacco and other carcinogens. According to the company’s website, the battery-powered device uses pods, called “JUULpods,” filled with a liquid formula of glycerol, propylene, natural oils, extracts and flavor, nicotine, and benzoic acid. The device converts this liquid into a vapor the user then inhales.
The liquid cartridges come in a range of flavors: “fruit medley,” “creme brulee” and “mango,” to name a few.
WHY IS JUUL HARMFUL?
Juul vapors contain nicotine, a toxic substance that increases blood pressure and heart rate and can contribute to the hardening of artery walls, leading to heart attack. The substance is highly addictive, no matter the product in which it is delivered.
Juul, in particular, delivers more nicotine than any other e-cigarette on the market and uses nicotine salts, which allow high levels of nicotine to be inhaled more easily. Each JUULpod contains roughly as much nicotine as one pack of cigarettes.
But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly two-thirds of Juul users between the ages of 15 and 24 do not know that Juul contains nicotine. For these users, nicotine is especially dangerous because it can harm adolescent brains, which are still developing. Besides affecting things like memory and concentration, nicotine can put young people at a higher risk of future addictions to tobacco and other drugs.
Juul and other e-cigarettes have other harmful substances besides nicotine. The e-cigarette aerosol, which many claim is a harmless vapor, can contain things like heavy metals, cancer-causing chemicals, and fine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs.