Ohio Product Liability Attorney and Class Action Consumer Protection Lawyer reviewing youth marketing, vaping addiction, underplayed safety risks and Juul E Cigarette Lawsuits
At the moment nobody can say if there’s going to be severe long-term risk of lung injury or asthma from regular vaping use. But the recent spate of lung disease and respiratory illness is bad sign for vaping companies.
Consumer safety attorneys and vaping illness lawsuits aim to provide a more clear risk assessment and proper warnings for consumers. If injury has been caused, manufacturers may be liable for failing to properly test their products and failing to warn consumers of serious vaping addiction and vaping injury risks.
According to the CDC, patients admitted to hospitals with vaping illnesses and lung disease had used vaping products with nicotine THC. There does not appear to be one specific product involved in all the cases, though the symptoms appear to be similar. Patients have presented with the following vaping illness symptoms:
- Trouble breathing
- Chest pain
- Increased heart rate
Juul Addiction Lawsuits & Vaping Injury
Juul, the maker of a popular e-cigarette vaping device, is the target of a class action lawsuits that claims the company has been marketing their product to teenagers. Young plaintiffs involved in the suit have said young Juul users were unaware that the vape contained nicotine. Juul E cigarette lawsuits claim the company intentionally downplayed the safety and health risks, and used marketing tactics to attract youths to the product.
Juul Labs denies these claims, even as plaintiffs have their sights on Juul and Altria Group, who has a stake in Juul, for allegedly trying to get teenagers hooked on tobacco products by using deceptive marketing tactics. According to the lawsuit, Juul was aware knew their e-cigarettes were unsafe for nonsmokers, and aggravated addiction in existing smokers.
Juuling remains popular among adolescents and teens, alarming to public health officials. Juul Labs advertises its products as a safe alternative to cigarettes, and an effective way to quit smoking. There is no evidence to support this claim.
According to studies, the vaping devices may exacerbate addiction, as the vape pods have a large amount of nicotine. One Juul pod contains about the same amount of nicotine as one pack of cigarettes. Juul and e-cigarettes may put users at an additional vaping injury risk with added chemicals.
The health risks of e-cigarettes differ across the board. Juul makes a product with a high concentration but does not contain diacetyl. Other e-cigarettes, however, may be less addictive, but contain other harmful toxins. Consumer safety experts say any vaping device may put consumers at risk.
Joe Lyon is an experienced Ohio product liability lawyer and consumer protection class action attorney reviewing deceptive e-cig marketing and Juul E cigarette lawsuits.
Is Vaping Harmful to Your Health?
Consumers have been aware of the serious health risks of smoking for decades. Smoking rates decreased, and then Big Tobacco had a solution to their profit problem: market very addictive vaping products to consumers, and claim they are a healthy alternative. Are they healthier?
It is becoming more and more apparent that vaping products, like Juul pods and THC products, can be just as dangerous as traditional cigarettes. There is much to be left to the imagination because no long-term studies have been conducted on the safety of electronic cigarettes. But hundreds of vaping illness reports could be the beginning of a new push to learn more about these products, many of which go unregulated. E-cig devices did not come under FDA tobacco oversight until 2016.
Nicotine vaping rates have shot up wildly since 2015, especially among young consumers and teens. The question for consumer safety attorneys and for health officials is how dangerous can it be to inhale these chemicals in a vapor form?
The early evidence is not looking good. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 450 cases of “vaping illness” is merely a few months’ time. The lung disease looks a bit like pneumonia, though no infection can be found. Vaping injury presents in many ways, with potential symptoms including fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and trouble breathing.
What is in Vape Liquid?
Vaping liquids, or vape juice, may contain dozens of chemicals, and some distributors and users alter their own liquids, customizing their own products. With so many different vape cocktails on the market, it is difficult for the FDA and other health officials to identify what is causing the vaping illnesses and vaping lung injury. No common chemical has been found across all the samples tested by the FDA.
Juul Labs and others in the nicotine-vaping industry point the finger at black market products and cannabis products. But the risks could be the same with nicotine or THC, and vaping injury lawsuits are more likely now than ever. Vaping companies have downplayed the safety risks of their products, and simply say they produce a product meant to help consumers wean themselves off of traditional cigarettes.
The company says nothing about the highly-addictive nature of their products, some of which carry a lot more nicotine per unit than traditional cigarettes. Consumers, including teenagers with no previous smoking issue, have suffered from vaping addiction and toxic injuries.
Vaping Addiction & Teenage Juul Vaping Injury
The youth have taken to the Juul vape products, and there may be a reason. Lawsuits claim the company attempts to attract young users to their products with fruity flavors and youthful marketing. Safety authorities have been clear that vaping does in fact carry health and safety risks, even as Juul and other vaping companies wish consumers to believe they are totally safe. Juul, according to plaintiffs, have used similar marketing tactics as Big Tobacco to get young users addicted to their products, downplaying addiction and safety risks.
The Juul E Cigarette lawsuits aim to protect young consumers from companies that have been known to prey on youth. According to a recent National Institutes of Health study, the number of teenagers smoking e-cigarettes has increased greatly, with as many as 20 percent of teens vaping at least once a month.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has also reported that almost 5 million underage students reported using a tobacco product within the past 30 days. One study conducted by the Truth Initiative found that 63 percent of Juul users between the ages 15 and 24 did not know that the product always contained nicotine.
What is Juul?
Juul is a small smoking device that has become one of the most popular vaping products on the market. The company currently holds around half of the e-cigarette market—a market that is expected to grow. The device is sleek and is offered in many different flavors. In 2018, Altria, the maker of Marlboro, bought a 35 percent stake in Juul Labs for $12.8 billion.
After serious injury to some consumers, Juul Labs still says its products are safe. But recent studies suggest Juul may pose significant risks to users. Researchers believe Juul is associated with many of the same health risks as smoking traditional cigarettes.
The Juul vaping liquid inside cartridges contains glycerol, propylene glycol, flavoring, benzoic acid, and nicotine. JUUL devices are concerning to experts because they deliver higher concentrations of nicotine than traditional cigarettes as well as other vaping products. JUUL liquids may contain up to 5 percent nicotine by volume, sometimes more than double the concentration of nicotine in other e-cig devices.
Nicotine’s toxic effects can be long-lasting and severe. There are neonatal and childhood complications associated with nicotine ingestion and exposure, including pulmonary disorders and risks of respiratory illness. Nicotine also increases the risk of heart disease and interacts with cancer cells and may exacerbate cancer in patients. Scientists have presented evidence that links vape use with chronic pulmonary obstructive disease.
JUUL vape devices consist of the vaping unit with the battery and vaporizer, and the cartridge that contains the vaping liquid. The Juul vape devices look like a USB flash drive, a sleek and appealing design. The product is used heavily by the youth, perhaps in part because of the ease of concealing it, and also because of the fruity flavoring the company has marketed over social media. JUUL devices are made in a variety of colors and can even be adorned with school colors and other artwork. Plaintiffs have noted sweet flavoring as evidence that JUUL targets the youth as its main consumer base.
Plaintiffs argue that the company’s advertising on social media is “youth-oriented” and the range of fruity flavors are as well. Even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that Juul may be trying to appeal to teenagers, and has issued warning letters to dozens of distributors for selling to youths.
E-Cig Safety Warnings & Vaping Dangers
Only recently has the CDC and FDA both issued health safety warnings regarding the use of vaping products (both THC and nicotine), and have gone as far as suggesting consumers quit vaping until more is known about severe respiratory illness and lung disease risks.
In December 2018, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a warning regarding the dangers of e-cigarettes, particularly in reference to the increase in teen use. The report referenced Juul multiple times because of the brand’s popularity in schools nationwide. Around half of all Twitters users following Juul last year were between the ages of 13 and 17, according to a JAMA Pediatrics study.
Juul sells a sleek, concealable device both appealing to youths and adult users. Experts have warned of the addiction and safety risks.
In August 2019, sixteen states reported over 150 cases of serious respiratory illnesses related to vaping. Many of the patients are teens and young consumers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that every case occurred in people vaping nicotine or THC vape pens. Health officials do not know what is causing the illnesses, though vaping liquids are suspected of being contaminated. Victims reported chest pain, vomiting and fatigue.
E-cigarette users also have a higher likelihood of developing bronchiolitis obliterans and other restrictive lung diseases. Juul is advertised as a safe alternative to cigarettes and an effective way to quit smoking, though no evidence supports these claims.
A recent study has concluded that the high levels of nicotine in Juul devices are cytotoxic, and may lead to serious health issues. Juul and other E-cig companies have failed to warn consumers that their products contain diacetyl, a toxic chemical that has led to severe health effects like bronchiolitis obliterans (popcorn lung).
According to researchers, even short-term e-cig use and vaping can induce significant inflammatory lung damage, leading to respiratory strain. Various flavorings and additives in vape devices have been deemed safe for consumption, but long-term effects of inhaling these chemicals are still unknown.
Vaping Illness & Severe Lung Disease
E-cigarettes are relatively new, only available in the U.S. for about a decade. The Food and Drug Administration has scrambled to determine their impact on lung health, while other agencies like the American Lung Association have gathered evidence about the impact of e-cigarettes on users’ lungs.
In 2018, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine released a report that concluded using e-cigarettes causes health risks. E-cigarettes contain and emit several potentially toxic substances. A study from the University of North Carolina found propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin—both ingredients in many vape devices—are toxic to human cells. E-cigs produce dangerous chemicals, including acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, which can lead to lung disease and cardiovascular disease.
E-cigarettes also contain acrolein, a chemical used to kill weeds, and can lead to COPD, asthma and lung cancer. Juul contains 59 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter of liquid, a very high concentration, associated with nicotine toxicity.
Hundreds of people have been hospitalized following e-cigarette use for vaping-related respiratory problems. Patients experienced symptoms including a shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, cough, anorexia, nausea, diarrhea, and weight loss. Juul is now preparing to handle a large number of lawsuits related to Juul injury and unethical marketing tactics.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a defective E-cigarette device or vaporizer, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding Juul E cigarette lawsuits.