A federal class-action lawsuit was filed in Florida and another was filed in Alabama against e-cigarette maker JUUL, Altria, and Philip Morris USA Inc. The plaintiffs are a 15-year-old girl in Florida who began using JUUL when she was 14, and her parents. The girl became addicted to JUUL because she did not understand nicotine or its addictive potential. In addition, the girl had seizures from accidentally swallowing the e-liquid nicotine.
The Florida JUUL lawsuit includes the facts that JUUL researched how to design their product and market to kids by mimicking cigarette company strategies using the UCSF Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Library. The JUUL lawsuit specifically describes how Juul copied Big Tobacco’s youth marketing playbook to quickly addict teens to nicotine. According to Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, Director of the Center for Tobacco Research Control & Education at University of California San Francisco, “Juul used the industry documents to study up on this and research how tobacco companies had chemically manipulated nicotine content to maximize delivery.”
The Florida JUUL lawsuit claims that JUUL, Phillip Morris, and Altria The fraud charge outlined in the complaint alleges JUUL and its Big Tobacco parent companies “deceptively sold or partnered to sell JUUL product to plaintiffs as non-addictive nicotine delivery systems or less addictive nicotine products than cigarettes, when defendant knew it to be untrue.”
The JUUL lawsuit also states the companies are liable for failing to warn teens about nicotine addition from using JUUL. The compaint states, “JUUL has intentionally downplayed, misrepresented, concealed, and failed to warn of heightened risk of nicotine exposure and addiction.”
In the Alabama class-action JUUL lawsuit, students from the University of Alabama and Auburn University allege that JUUL products “prey on youth to recruit replacement smokers for financial gain.”
The Alabama lawsuit, was filed in May in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama West Division. The complaint lists Juul Labs Inc., as well as Altria Group and Philip Morris USA as defendants. According to the Alabama lawsuit, Elizabeth Ann Swearingen, 19, an Alabama University student, became addicted to Juul at 18, and Auburn student John Thomas Via Peavy, 19, became addicted at 17.
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