Illinois E-Cigarette Lawsuit Attorneys
E-cigarettes, also known as e-cigs or vapes, have been marketed as cigarette replacements for adults who are seeking a safer alternative to their smoking habits.
These USB-sized products heat up flavored oils which contain nicotine amongst other ingredients and create a nicotine-infused vapor that users inhale. These devices have become very popular due to their variety and accessibility.
JUUL Labs, creator of a very popular e-cigarette JUUL, has been accused of allegedly using deceptive business tactics to market their product to middle school and high school students, a time when teenagers’ brains are still not fully developed and more susceptible to addiction.
If your teenage child suffers from nicotine addiction after using JUUL, you may be eligible for compensation.
The Illinois Personal Injury Lawsuit Attorneys of Spiros Law, P.C. are ready to evaluate your case, absolutely FREE of charge, when you call (217) 328-2828 today.
What Are E-Cigarettes?
In 2007, e-cigarettes hit the scene as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. For users, the idea behind this flameless technology was to avoid tobacco, in turn reducing–or in some cases eliminating–exposure to tar, carcinogens, or other toxins which are prevalent in traditional cigarettes.
The product was even advertised to help smokers quit the habit. However, e-cigarettes still vaporize a nicotine solution to deliver nicotine into the user. While this was appealing to those looking to give up cigarettes, individuals picking up JUUL for the first time that had never smoked before were now getting hooked on the substance.
Although scientists have verified that e-cigarettes do not contain as many toxins as cigarettes do, there is no conclusion of the product being any safer.
Research has revealed that many dangers are still present in using this electronic product. JUUL packs contain more than just nicotine. Other dangerous ingredients may be present in flavoring chemicals, propylene glycol, and glycerol to name a few.
When these ingredients are vaporized, they may interact to potentially create dangerous formaldehyde-releasing agents. Formaldehyde was recently classified as a probable human carcinogen linked to developing certain cancers like leukemia.
Furthermore, the ingredient diacetyl, which may also be present in certain flavors used in nicotine solutions known as e-juice, is known to contribute to bronchiolitis obliterans. This condition is also known as “popcorn lung.”
JUUL Labs’ Corrupt Marketing Targets Youth
JUUL’s easy-to-use design combined with the variety of fun flavors available has made the product enticing to younger demographics.
The slim and sleek structure makes it nearly undetectable in a social setting. Children can easily get away with inhaling the lightly-scented vapor even when around their parents or teachers.
Teenagers are only further encouraged to use electronic cigarettes as manufacturers fail to explicitly address the addictive qualities of the JUUL. The company has labeled the item as a “safer-alternative” to cigarettes, but the public may take this as generally safe-to-use, even when that is not the case at all.
In the past, similar tactics were used to glamorize cigarettes. It was once a successful ploy in getting many teens hooked on nicotine in tobacco products.
Now, JUUL has allegedly taken to prey on this exact target group through advertisements on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Unfortunately, millions of teenagers are reported to have tried JUUL at least one time within the last year.
Accessibility of the products have also highly contributed to adolescent e-cigarette addiction. As of 2016, 18 was the legal age at which one could purchase e-cigarettes.
However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has discovered on various accounts that convenience stores were distributing electronic cigarettes to minors. Part of this accountability still remains on JUUL Labs’ end for attracting this specific consumer group and failing to explicitly inform them of the high amounts of addictive nicotine in their JUUL pods.
Health Risks Associated with JUUL and E-Cigarettes
Using a JUUL is a hazard to consumers of any age group, which leaves us concerned over how teen consumers can further be affected.
The following are health complications that can arise when our youth uses e-cigarettes:
- Altered brain development
- Blood clots
- Cardiovascular disease
- Developmental issues
- Diminished immune response
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Inclination to use tobacco cigarettes
- Lung irritation diseases
- ‘Popcorn lung’
Research reveals that the prefrontal cortex of the brain does not stop developing until about the age of 25. Constant exposure to nicotine can cause damage to this center, and excess nicotine use can also result in long-term effects in an adolescent’s decision making, emotional behaviors, and impulse control.
Studies have also revealed how adolescents who started smoking at younger ages had lower memory capacity and attention span. Getting hooked on nicotine can even lead to greater inclination towards other types of drugs.
To make matters worse, individuals who try e-cigarettes are seven times more likely to take to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes to get that nicotine fix, which is known to present worse health complications.
Past E-Cigarette Lawsuits
JUUL Labs has already begun to face lawsuits from teenagers who have become addicted to their product and have started to experience related health complications.
As of August 2019, one lawsuit was filed at the Lake County State attorney’s office under the basis that JUUL Labs violated Illinois consumer laws by marketing a highly addictive product to teenagers. The State’s Attorney’s Office has also pursued punitive damages.
Recently, a teenager in Cook County has filed their lawsuit against JUUL claiming that the manufacturer designed their product to be most desireable to such a young demographic. The e-cigarette company used their power to target a vulnerable group through various corrupt marketing tactics and succeeded.
Illinois is not the only state where e-cigarette lawsuits have popped up. States such as Florida and North Carolina have had their own JUUL lawsuits surface.
Many JUUL lawsuits for teenagers’ addiction to nicotine seek to put an end to the unlawful and misguided business practices which promote the JUUL as a “safer alternative” to traditional cigarettes.
Actions Are Being Taken To Reduce Adolescent JUUL Use
Both the FDA and the Illinois Department of Public Health has received reports of adolescents developing breathing issues like asthma after using e-cigarettes.
In Spring of 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzkerdid passed a bill to raise the minimum age of purchasing cigarettes and e-cigarettes from age 18 to 21 in the state of Illinois. This has made a difference to some extent.
In the face of such legal pressures, the company has engaged in efforts to push this new legislation in a way that demonstrates that they do not promote underage smoking.
Juul has faced harsh criticism for marketing to teenagers through social media including Facebook and Instagram. The company has decided to exit these platforms in efforts to reduce heat from the allegations. Meanwhile, they continued to announce their support for the Tobacco 21 laws.
The company also claims they have taken an initiative in undercover shopping to catch retailers who do not ID minors when purchasing their products. The manufacturer claims they will remedy this by redirecting compliance to the appropriate sales age.
What Should I Do If My Teen Becomes Addicted to JUUL?
Laws have been set in place to reduce the ease with which children can get their hands on these products. Unfortunately, some who have been using JUUL prior to the restrictions may have already developed a nicotine addiction.
If your teen developed a nicotine addiction due to usage of e-cigarettes, keep the following tips in mind for filing a claim:
- The plaintiff must be able to prove that the manufacturer was deceptive in targeting and advertising to adolescents or that the item was incorrectly labeled.
- Claims filed simply on the basis of having nicotine related injuries can be dismissed under the fact that that information was provided about the nicotine content.
- Underaged plaintiffs must be represented by their legal guardian in filing a personal injury or class action lawsuit.
- A personal injury lawsuit can help plaintiffs maximize compensation and get the individualized attention they need.
Filing a lawsuit can further crack down on the presence and accessibility of highly addictive e-cigarettes and prevent future instances of youth trying this product and getting hooked.
What Compensation Is Available in a JUUL Claim?
Adolescents who have suffered nicotine addiction and injuries related to e-cigarette use should know that there are various damages that can be recovered in an e-cigarette lawsuit, such as:
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Lost income (past and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
An experienced personal injury lawsuit attorney can determine if you qualify for a claim and help to estimate the value of your damages. Additionally, they will provide guidance on acquiring the essential evidence needed to hold the negligent e-cigarette manufacturer accountable.
The dedicated e-cigarette lawsuit attorneys of Spiros Law, P.C. are now helping teens who have faced nicotine addiction and e-cigarette smoking related injuries to get the compensation they are owed.
The Illinois personal injury attorneys of Spiros Law, P.C. are ready to serve you. Call (217) 328-2828 to schedule your FREE, zero-obligation case evaluation today.