First, harsh reality: Like traditional cigarettes, JUUL contains nicotine. Nicotine causes addiction by stimulating the release of neurotransmitter chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin which activate pleasure hormones in the brain. The addictive cycle results from the compulsion of users to chase the pleasure high. Combined with a smooth vapor, accomplished through an infusion of pH-softening benzoic acid, and a false understanding of the product’s toxicity, JUUL consumers frequently eclipse cigarette smokers in nicotine consumption. (One JUUL “pod,” the nicotine cartridge inserted into a smoking device and heated, delivers around 200 puffs, about as much nicotine as 35 cigarettes, more than a pack-and-a-half.) Vaping is linked to:
- Disturbances of cognitive function and brain function
- Lung issues such as pulmonary disease
- Reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain
- Increased likelihood of smoking cigarettes
It is also suspected of damaging DNA. Damaged DNA can lead to cancer — since 2009, the FDA has warned that e-cigarettes contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals.
Big Tobacco devised the addiction scheme more than a century ago. Its primary targets were children, who would become lifelong consumers through addiction. Not a bad strategy considering the adolescent brain is more sensitive to addiction. In 1998, Big Tobacco was banned from marketing youth.
JUUL, the product, is manufactured by JUUL Labs, Inc. In 2015, it entered the e-cigarette business. As e-cigarettes were not subject to many of the laws and restrictions constraining Big Tobacco, JUUL took aim at the youth market. It advertised on social media (e.g., Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook), paid young “influencers” to endorse its products, used colorful packaging, and promoted trendy flavors such as “mango” and “fruit medley.” The plan worked. Sales increased and JUUL came to dominate the market.
Unlike Big Tobacco, which had a decades long consequence-free run until finally being cornered by private trial lawyers and state attorney generals determined to exact justice, JUUL has begun to feel the heat after just a few short years. It has been forced to stop selling various flavored products at more than 90,000 retail stores, agreed to enhanced on-line age verification measures, deleted its Facebook and Instagram accounts, stopped promotional posts on Twitter, and uses only adult models.
Unfortunately, people young and old will continue to be harmed by JUUL. An entire generation of youth have been caught up in the addictive cycle, and the hopes of adults mislead into believing e-cigarettes were their salvation from deadly cigarettes, have been dashed. Civil litigation, both in the form of class actions and individual claims, aimed at bringing JUUL to heel is well underway.
If you or a loved one feel victimized by JUUL, call our office for answers and options. Free consultation.
Contact us at 305-758-4900 or by email to learn your legal rights.
Jeffrey P. Gale, P.A. is a South Florida based law firm committed to the judicial system and to representing and obtaining justice for individuals – the poor, the injured, the forgotten, the voiceless, the defenseless and the damned, and to protecting the rights of such people from corporate and government oppression. We do not represent government, corporations or large business interests.
While prompt resolution of your legal matter is our goal, our approach is fundamentally different. Our clients are “people” and not “cases” or “files.” We take the time to build a relationship with our clients, realizing that only through meaningful interaction can we best serve their needs. In this manner, we have been able to best help those requiring legal representation.