As the use of e-cigarettes by teenagers has skyrocketed to “epidemic” proportions according to the Food and Drug Administration, a leading industry executive is expressing his regret. His contrition comes at a time when the makers of Juul, Vuse, Blu and Prologic and other vapers are facing legal challenges as more information is revealed about their products.
Juul Labs CEO Kevin Burns said in an interview that he would tell parents of vape-addicted young people that he’s sorry their children use his Juul e-cigarettes and those made by other companies. Unfortunately for many families, the damage has been done and some are seeking legal relief from the manufacturers. The litigation could shed light on many serious issues associated with teen use of e-cigarettes, including:
- Marketing to teens — While contending that Juul products are meant for adults, Burns acknowledged that the company’s original advertising used models and images that appealed to a young audience. Critics say this strategy, along with product flavorings that can taste like candy, could be linked to an enormous increase in vaping among people under the legal smoking age.
- Nicotine addiction and poisoning — Depending on the particular brand and product, the substance that teenagers are vaping might have up to 10 percent nicotine content. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm brain development in adolescents, who often aren’t even aware that e-cigarettes contain the drug. It also has led thousands of people to seek treatment for nicotine exposure at poison control centers.
- Risk to heart and lung function — In certain instances, vaping has been linked to serious medical conditions affecting the heart and lungs. Compared with non-users, e-cigarette users have a significantly higher risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke, researchers have found. They may also be more likely to contract a lung disease or respiratory problem.
Many parents aren’t aware of the popularity of e-cigarettes or the harm that can result from vaping. If your son or daughter has become addicted to nicotine or suffered health consequences related to use of Juul or a different vaper, you might wish to explore your legal options.
Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban represents clients in mass tort claims arising from the marketing of e-cigarettes to teenagers and in other types of product liability actions. We have offices throughout Virginia and the Carolinas to serve victims and their families. To schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced lawyer, please call (855) 435-7247 or contact us online.