The latest in a long line of lawsuits against JUUL Labs was filed late last month by a New York man, Jared Pruchnick, who says he now suffers from nicotine addiction, chest pains and permanent brain damage caused by his use of JUUL e-cigarettes. According to allegations raised in the JUUL lawsuit, which names JUUL Labs, Inc. and Altria Group, Inc. as defendants, the makers of JUUL failed to issue adequate warnings about the potential health risks associated with its e-cigarette product, which has been linked to a number of vaping-related side effects and deaths. If you or someone you love has been adversely affected by alleged side effects of JUUL or another potentially harmful e-cigarette product, contact an experienced e-cigarette injury lawyer today for legal help.
In recent years, e-cigarettes have grown in popularity as an alternative to smoking combustible cigarettes, but there are serious concerns about the safety of e-cigarettes and their potential to cause serious health problems in users. The best-selling e-cigarette brand in the United States is JUUL, which was introduced to the market just five years ago. JUUL vape pens are particularly popular among teens and young adults, a fact that has been credited to a marketing scheme that deliberately targeted young users and people who didn’t smoke. By introducing sweet and fruity flavors like mint and mango that appealed to young users and prior non-smokers, JUUL Labs created new nicotine addictions that are expected to fuel the company’s sales for years to come.
JUUL’s refillable cartridges, known as “JUUL pods” are available in a variety of flavors intended to entice teens and young adults, which has fueled what the FDA is calling a “youth e-cigarette epidemic.” According to reports, the majority of JUUL users in the United States are teens, which is a particularly alarming statistic considering the fact that one survey conducted in 2017 found that more than 60% of them “did not understand that the JUUL products they used always contain nicotine.”
The trouble with JUUL vape pens centers around the fact that each JUUL pod delivers a potent dose of addictive nicotine that is equal to the amount of nicotine in 20 cigarettes. This high concentration of nicotine may expose users to an increased risk of nicotine addiction and other harmful or potentially life-threatening side effects. For instance, recent studies have shown that repeated exposure to large intakes of concentrated nicotine from “JUULing” can have an adverse effect on brain development. Additionally, a growing number of people are developing what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling “e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury,” or EVALI. As of February 4, 2020, the CDC has identified 2,758 hospitalizations linked to e-cigarette use and at least 64 patient deaths.
Last November, JUUL announced that it would stop selling its mint-flavored e-cigarette pods after a government report showed that more teens than ever were vaping. According to the report, which involved nearly 20,000 young people, JUUL was the preferred brand for 60% of high school students, most of whom used flavored e-cigarettes. Of those who did, nearly 60% preferred the mint or menthol flavors. One month prior, JUUL announced that it would stop selling its controversial fruit- and dessert-flavored pods like mango, cucumber and crème. Menthol-flavored JUUL pods are still available in the United States, as are the company’s Virginia tobacco and classic tobacco flavors.
According to Jared Pruchnik’s JUUL lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on January 28, he preferred the mint and menthol flavored pods when he began using JUUL vape pens in 2017. He did so unaware that the e-cigarettes were addictive and carried a risk of serious health problems, such as seizures, brain damage, stroke, heart problems and respiratory illness. “When Plaintiff first started ‘JUULing,’ he was not aware of the dangers associated with JUUL, including the addiction and other harmful health effects it could cause. He was not aware of how much nicotine JUUL products contained,” the lawsuit states. “JUUL never disclosed to Plaintiff that it had manipulated the nicotine in its products to deliver massive doses of nicotine that could cause immediate addiction for the rest of his life.”