(September 11, 2018) Juul Labs, the manufacturer of the popular Juul vape, is facing lawsuits across the nation for their improper business practices and the defective design of the vape device. These include claims that Juul illegally marketed its products to minors who are particularly susceptible to developing lifelong nicotine addictions. Juul is also being sued for marketing its vapes as safe, even though there is no evidence of decreased addiction and contain hazardous ingredients.
Juul also faces regulatory action as the FDA considers banning flavored e-cigarette liquids, such as those heavily relied upon by Juul to attract new users.
Juul’s rapid growth is covered in a recent video by CNBC, where JUUL executives are seen touting the company’s 70% market share, recent 800% increase in sales, and most recent $15 billion valuation:
The video plays more like an infomercial than a critical review of the company, which is accused of intentionally marketing and designing the device to hook new generations of children to Juul nicotine products. Nicotine addictions are notoriously difficult to quit and teens who start smoking will commonly develop lifelong addictions.
Juul insists its products are a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. Juul’s executive, for example, describes in the CNBC video that the JUUL vape is “lower on the continuum of risk than cigarettes”. Juul maintains the flavoring of its e-cigarette liquids is intended solely to convert existing adult smokers, even though there is mounting evidence from medical studies that flavored vape juices and pods are creating new addictions in minors. There is also no scientific evidence to support Juul’s claims that flavoring is needed to attract and convert adult cigarette smokers.
New research from the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center shows Juul vape pods produce the same nicotine levels found in traditional cigarettes. Scientists at Rosewell Park partnered with pediatricians from Stony Brook Children’s Hospital to survey 12-21 year old Stony Brook patients on their vape exposure and vaping habits. They found that young users of the popular Juul pods would be exposed to similar levels of nicotine as cigarettes.
Additionally, research is showing one of the main draws of vaping products for children are flavors. Flavored e-cigarette juices were used initially by children and young college adults 95-98% of the time, versus 44% for older adults. Juul continues to market and sell flavors. Juul claims they are changing their marketing to be less directed at young adults and teens. Juul initially marketed the product heavily on social media, using young models smoking their products as a sell tactic.
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