Juul is a type of e-cigarette or vaporizer that has become so popular that it has spawned terms like juuling to describe what users are doing. Juuling is big with teens who have become obsessed with it to the point the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is calling it an epidemic and public health concern has risen in recent years. As awareness rises about the health risks in using the products, more Juul lawsuit claims are being filed.
Just recently, eight teens from Wisconsin were taken to the emergency room because they had shortness of breath along with fatigue and coughing. Some of them were so severe they required breathing assistance. Medical staff believed it was due to vaping that led to the situation. Even with more information available about the dangers of juuling, teens aren’t listening. According to statistics, juuling or vaping was up 75 percent in 2018 from 2017.
Juuling is the same as vaping, but the Juul is a type of e-cigarette or vaporizer. Juul products contain a cartridge with oils that is heated up to create a vapor. The device is quite discreet so that many people don’t even realize what it is. It can be charged off the USB port on a laptop so it’s always ready for use. While the company states that Juul products are to be used to help people stop smoking and it’s not intended for use by youth, the device has become popular with high school students and college kids in spite of health risks. Juul pods, which provide the vapor for vaping, come in a variety of flavors. Juul labs have created pods in mango, cool cucumber, cool mint and more to enhance their appeal. According to Nielsen, Juul is the best selling-product in its category with 55 percent of the market. Juul products are easy to access, found in convenience stores and online through the company website. While you must verify you are 21 years or older on the Juul website, teens have using prepaid debit cards and lying about their personal information to get the device.
Is Juul Safe?
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A lot of parents and others who are Juuling believe that Juuls and other e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes. While there are fewer chemicals in a Juul than what you would find in a tobacco cigarette, there are other chemicals which can cause cancer in these devices. They have been marketed as safer than traditional cigarettes, but it doesn’t mean they are safe. In fact, a single Juul pod has about the same amount of nicotine as an entire pack of regular cigarettes.
E-cigarettes also contain other dangerous chemicals, such as formaldehyde, acrolein, menthol, diacetyl and heavy metals. These compounds can lead to lung damage which is irreversible. Teens are especially susceptible because their lungs are still developing. Another concern is the risk of addiction. Some experts claim that the Juul is more addictive than regular cigarettes. Nicotine can alter the chemistry in the brain so the person is unable to function normally without it in the system. This situation becomes even more serious for junior high and high school students whose brains are still in the development stage. This is one reason for the Juul lawsuits that have been filed against the company.
The FDA Fight
Prior to 2016, the e-cigarette industry was unregulated, which allowed them to produce products that were harmful to consumers. At that time, the industry became regulated, which reduced the risks, but it didn’t completely eliminate it. The changes also didn’t stop teens from finding the product attractive and wanting to try it even if they had never smoked in the past. The FDA, along with the American Lung Association, has put their focus on e-cigarettes and the harm they can cause to users. While the FDA has developed a public health campaign to make teens aware of the dangers and health risks of juuling, the agency doesn’t stop there. In 2018, it required the major manufacturers of vaporizers to develop plans on how to cut down on vaping by teens within 60 days. Juul provided such a plan that included no longer selling many of the flavored products in stores and taking action to improve age verification for online purchases.
Is Juul Getting Sued?
Juul has become the focus of many parents of teens who have fallen victim to the appeal of electronic cigarettes and suffered from negative health side effects. More class action lawsuits have been reported in recent years as the effects of Juul products are being recognized. One instance involves the parents of a Sarasota, Florida teen who was using e-cigarettes. The parents claim that Juuling caused their teen to have seizures. The teenager is 15 years old, and the parents claim that Juul targets kids that age with their ads and through social media. According to her parents, her friends introduced her to Juul, which she soon became addicted to. She missed classes so she could vape and didn’t care about anything other than her next hit.
Several claims were made against Juul, including the fact that their advertising is geared towards teens and the design of the product is stylish and small so that it can be hidden from parents or teachers. The device looks similar to a USB port, so that no one would know what it really is. Juul has even promoted their products as the “iPhone of e-cigs”, which enhances the appeal because it’s seen as an exclusive group that kids want to be part of. In fact, teens promote the idea of Juuling on social media to their friends. Being part of the “in crowd” becomes more important for this age group than warnings by public health groups. Peer pressure is often stronger than advertising, which is evident in the growth of vaping in recent years.
Another Juul lawsuit involving a Connecticut man comes from a 22-year-old who began Juuling when he was a teenager. He claims he became addicted during his senior year in high school. His addiction became so severe that he was puffing on the Juul about every ten minutes. He was using two cartridges per day, which is the equivalent of two packs of cigarettes. Two years later, he had a massive hemorrhagic stroke. He spent more than 100 days in the hospital and underwent three brain surgeries. Even with the medical care, he has permanent damage with paralysis on his left side, partial loss of vision in both eyes and impaired speech. Several charges were filed against Juul in this case, including fraudulent concealment, negligence in promoting and selling to young people and intentional misrepresentation of the products.
These are just a few of the cases against Juul with lawsuits filed in Alabama, Florida, New York and California. Some lawsuit claims simply hold the company responsible for the addiction of teens for using the products. The claim filed in California, which involved the 22-year-old has the biggest allegations of the lawsuits and may inspire others to come forward. These plaintiffs argue that Juul targeted teens by the advertising they used in ads and through social media. Young models were used in the ads to create a sense of belonging and sex appeal associated with vaping. This is contrary to the claims made by Juul, which insists its target market is adults who are trying to quit smoking.
Along with the federal cases against Juul, several state lawsuits in California have been filed. There is the potential for all these suits to be consolidated into a single class action lawsuit against Juul.
What are the Side Effects of Juul?
One of the most serious side effects and most concerning of Juuling is the likelihood of transitioning to traditional cigarettes. Because nicotine is addictive, it can lead users to start smoking regular tobacco products. However, the risk with Juul e cigarettes doesn’t stop here. As a gateway drug, nicotine can lead to the use of cocaine and heroin, which is concerning for parents of teens who are vaping. The product also causes inflammation in the lungs and the airway of the user, which can lead to an increased risk for pneumonia. In fact, several kids have been diagnosed with pneumonia which led doctors to believe they were vaping.
Since the product made by Juul labs contains nicotine and such a high amount compared to traditional cigarettes, it increases the risk for side effects associated with other nicotine products. This includes the following:
- Increased heart rate
- Peptic ulcers
- Heart disease, including heart attack and stroke
- Erectile dysfunction
- Premature birth
- Sudden infant death syndrome
- Chronic bronchitis
- Certain types of cancer
- Gum disease
Juul hasn’t been on the cigarette market long enough for the FDA and other organizations to determine long-term health effects from use. However, concern is growing for the short-term impact it has on users, especially teenagers. A known symptom of nicotine poisoning, which happens from consuming too much nicotine, is a seizure. No studies have been conducted on vaping and seizures, but the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine had a report in 2018 which listed seizures as one of the adverse health effects of electronic cigarettes. Anoxic brain injury, lactic acidosis and vomiting were also included.
Signs of nicotine poisoning include the following:
This is a serious condition that requires medical attention immediately as with any poisoning.
Does Juul Give You Popcorn Lung?
Popcorn lung is a common term for a rare lung condition, which impacts the bronchioles. Inflammation damages the tissues of the lung, which results in scar tissue and narrowing of the airways. The person starts having difficulty breathing, which worsens over time.
The name comes from diacetyl, which is a chemical that once was used in popcorn and other foods. It added the buttery flavor that enhanced the taste. Popcorn lung’s medical name is obliterative bronchiolitis or constrictive bronchiolitis. Many products are no longer allowed to include this chemical but e-cigarettes have been an unregulated industry by the FDA in the past until 2016.
Many times, popcorn lung is difficult to diagnose because the person may already have symptoms from asthma or other lung conditions. The symptoms can begin as early as two weeks or up to two months after exposure. They start off mild and worsen over time. Some of the most common symptoms of popcorn lung include:
- Shortness of breath
- Unable to take deep breaths
- Dry cough
- Rapid breathing
- Unexplained fatigue
- Persistent irritation of the eye, mouth, nose or skin
Diacetyl is found in the vapor of e-cigarettes. In fact, the American Lung Association says that using e-cigarettes or juuling can lead to popcorn lung. A study was conducted in 2015 on flavored e-cigarettes which tend to have diacetyl. It showed that out of 51 brands tested, 29 contained the chemical. Most of them also contained 2,3 pentanedione and acetoin, which are also toxic chemicals. The average consumer is not aware of these dangers.
Special tests are done to diagnose popcorn lung. Once a diagnosis is made, treatment begins. There is no cure and the damage is irreversible. Treatment is designed to manage the symptoms and prevent further damage. This may include antibiotics, steroids, immunosuppressive drugs and oxygen to help with breathing. A lung transplant may be necessary in the most severe cases.
Because Juul e cigarettes contain diacetyl, vaping can lead to popcorn lung. If not treated, death is the likely result. Anyone who suspects they have the symptoms of this disease should stop using Juul or other e-cigarettes immediately and get diagnosed.
Can a Juul Explode?
E-cigarettes have a known history of exploding. There have been lawsuits over exploding vaporizers which caused burns in several accidents. While it hasn’t happened often, the explosions are severe. They may cause third degree burns on the face and hands. The explosion can even cause loss of eyesight and fractures. Many times, the victim needs skin grafts because of the severity of the burn. The vaporizer may explode while it’s charging or in a pocket or in the person’s hand. When it explodes, it causes a loud sound and flames shoot out.
There are many reasons for the explosions. The battery may be overcharged or the wrong charger may be used. The device may be poorly made or the person may be using them incorrectly, which leads to the accidents. Because the industry hasn’t been regulated, there haven’t been a lot of studies and reports done on these situations in the past. However, in the past two years, more attention has been given to the issue of exploding e-cigarettes, which has led manufacturers to take extra precautions in the design of the vaporizer and batteries.
Juuls have benefited from the improvements. They are less likely to explode because of the design. Juul labs produced a product that is quite different from earlier products. Rather than having an on and off switch, they work automatically when someone takes a puff. In reality, any device with a battery has the ability to explode. However, Juul devices have a safety feature which helps prevent overheating. The company also recommends that the consumer not charge the Juul in extreme temperatures to prevent accidents. For the most part, Juuls are safer than other vaping devices, but they should still be handled with care because an explosion isn’t out of the question with the right circumstances.
How to Sign up for a Juul Lawsuit
If you or a loved one has had severe reactions to Juul vaporizers, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss. The average consumer was unaware of the dangers of Juuls and didn’t even realize they contained such a high amount of nicotine. Since the Juul e cigarettes aren’t traditional cigarettes, they weren’t regulated by the FDA in the same way. However, studies have shown that these products may be linked to several severe health conditions. If you are in this situation, you can seek legal advice on whether you have a case against the company. While there is no major class action lawsuit against Juul at this time, you can join others in filing an individual lawsuit against the company.
An experienced class action attorney will listen to your story, review your claim and help you determine if you have a case against the manufacturer. If you have a claim, you may be entitled to compensation for damages related to the cost of medical care as well as any present and future lost wages for permanent disability. The attorney can file a lawsuit against Juul on your behalf. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to make the consumer aware of the risks of using their products with truthful advertising. A lawsuit holds them responsible for damages you sustain from using their products. Contact an attorney today for a free consultation and review of your case. They can help you determine if you should take action with a lawsuit for the damage sustained from using Juul.
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