JUUL vape pens have been aggressively marketed by JUUL Labs as a means of helping people quit smoking, yet new research shows that JUUL vape pens have the same tobacco and chemical profile as Marlboro cigarettes, which means they are just as addictive. If you or someone you love has suffered a nicotine addiction from “JUULing” or has experienced another adverse side effect of e-cigarette use, contact an experienced e-cigarette injury lawyer today to discuss your legal options. With a knowledgeable product liability lawyer on your side, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the e-cigarette manufacturer and pursue financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.
Because JUUL e-cigarettes resemble a discreet USB thumb drive and emit little to no visible vapor, use of the pens has become widespread among middle school and high school students, many of whom never smoked before JUULing and have little to no idea that the e-cigarettes deliver a highly potent dose of nicotine. So potent, in fact, that a new study published last month in the journal Tobacco Control indicates that the nicotine formula of JUUL pods is nearly identical to the flavor and addictive profile of Marlboro cigarettes. This finding is particularly alarming considering the fact that JUUL Labs was recently issued a warning letter by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for telling students at a school presentation that JUUL vape pens are “totally safe” and are “much safer than cigarettes.”
Since JUUL vape pens were first introduced in 2015, “JUULing” has become the most popular method of tobacco use among teens and young adults, many of whom favor the e-cigarette brand for its sleek design and fruity flavor options. It is these same features that have earned JUUL Labs a great deal of criticism by those who accuse the company of using the same marketing tactics previously used by the tobacco industry to attract underage users. According to a growing number of lawsuits filed against JUUL Labs, the company has targeted teens and young adults in a deliberate attempt to create lifelong users of their products and has thus created a whole new generation of young people who are addicted to nicotine.
In the Tobacco Control study, researchers from Portland State University analyzed the chemical and nicotine profile of JUUL e-liquid cartridges, directly comparing the makeup of the vape pens to the makeup of Marlboro cigarettes. What they found was that the potency and flavor profile of JUUL pods was almost identical to the cigarettes, which makes the vape pens just as addictive for users. With its unique inhalable nicotine aerosol formulation, JUUL Labs has succeeded in creating an e-cigarette product that delivers a smooth and potent dose of nicotine without the harsh effects of smoking cigarettes, which helps explain why a growing number of teens and young adults who never smoked cigarettes in the past have become regular users of JUUL e-cigarettes.
As part of the study, the researchers reached out to JUUL Labs regarding their findings and the company responded by saying that their intention in developing JUUL vape pens was to create an e-liquid that mimicked the “nicotine experience” of cigarettes, in order to entice adult smokers to switch from combustible cigarettes. “Providing a similar nicotine experience was a priority given the fact that early generation e-cigarettes had failed in this respect and, as a result, did not convert a significant number of adult smokers from cigarettes,” JUUL Labs stated. According to the study authors, “It is undoubtedly true that [the evolution of e-cigarettes] has made e-cigarettes more effective as substitutes to get smokers off combustibles. However, exactly as occurred with smoked tobacco, this evolution has made e-cigarette products vastly more addictive for never-smokers.”
Despite claims that JUUL vape pens can help people quit smoking, there is growing evidence suggesting that the e-cigarettes have had very little success in reducing cigarette smoking in the United States. At the same time, JUUL pens and other e-cigarettes are fueling the youth nicotine addiction crisis in this country. According to a recent analysis of the latest available data on cigarette and e-cigarette use from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the growing vaping trend that we have seen in the U.S. since 2015 has come entirely from users under 25 years old, including teenagers.
Whatever potential benefits JUUL and other e-cigarettes may have for cigarette smokers, the fact that the devices are attracting youth who otherwise would not have tried another tobacco product is enough of a concern that the FDA recently called upon e-cigarette manufacturers to provide proof that their products can actually aid in smoking cessation and therefore provide a net benefit to public health. By May, e-cigarette manufacturers are required to submit applications to the FDA so the agency can judge the benefit to public health based on whether the e-cigarette brand is effective in getting smokers to quit and whether that benefit outweighs the health risks to new e-cigarette users who were prior non-smokers. If an e-cigarette manufacture fails to make its case, the FDA may decide to remove the company’s products from the market.