JUUL & Other E-Cigarette Lawsuits

Active Case

As a parent or a loved one of someone who has started using an e-cigarette, you hope they don’t get addicted or suffer health issues. While JUUL and other e-cigarettes have been marketed as “safe” and a better alternative to smoking cigarettes, we are now learning from the medical community that use of these products may result in potentially devastating health effects, including heart and lung problems, seizure and stroke. What makes these products even more dangerous is that JUUL’s advertising strategies allegedly targeted teen users through catchy social media ads and sweet and fruity flavors without informing consumers that JUUL also contains nicotine. JUUL is the top-selling e-cigarette manufacturer in the U.S., although there are many other manufacturers of e-cigarettes and flavors (or “juice”), as well as chemical manufacturers, that may be contributing to the growing health concerns.

E-cigarettes were first introduced to consumers in 2007. As a result, the long-term health effects of the devices are not yet known. Serious health risks from using JUUL or other e-cigarettes however, can occur quickly and in some instances immediately after contact or use.

A 2019 study by Stanford’s School of Medicine of six popular e-liquid flavors (fruit, tobacco, sweet tobacco with caramel and vanilla, sweet butterscotch, cinnamon, and menthol) found that the liquids may increase risk of cardiovascular disease when inhaled.  

Poison control centers throughout the country have also managed more than 20,000 exposure cases between 2013 and 2019 that involved e-cigarettes, with 3,139 reports made in 2018 alone. As of July 31, the centers received 2,439 exposure cases about e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine in 2019. Serious cases of exposure can lead to seizures, decreased heart rate, and decreased blood pressure, the American Association of Poison Control Centers says.

E-cigarette health risks may include:

  • Cardiovascular disease and other heart problems
  • Heart attack
  • Lung or respiratory problems
  • Nicotine poisoning
  • Seizure
  • Stroke

Contact an attorney

Motley Rice attorneys are reviewing claims of seizures, cardiovascular disease and other serious health effects in young people who used JUUL or other e-cigarettes., If you or a loved one required medical treatment, you may have a claim. Please contact Motley Rice lawyers Carmen Scott and Fred Thompson by completing this webform or calling 1.800.768.4026 to discuss your potential claim.

Our experience

Motley Rice attorneys have experience representing people harmed by tobacco products, including serving as lead council for more than two dozen State Attorneys General resulting in the historic $246 billion Master Settlement Agreement with four of the U.S.’s largest tobacco producers.

Motley Rice continues to represent people harmed by tobacco products in ongoing litigation, as well as workers who developed “popcorn lung” and other severe lung diseases caused by flavoring chemicals found in e-cigarettes and other products.

E-cigarette health risks

Reporting an apparent uptick in seizures associated with e-cigarette use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced in April 2019 that it is reviewing what it described as an “important and potentially serious health issue.” The announcement came amid growing concerns that smoking electronic cigarettes, commonly referred to as vaping, is far from harmless despite being portrayed as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes.

Misconceptions that e-cigarettes replace smoke and tar with a harmless flavored water vapor have contributed to the popularity of these devices in recent years. In reality, the CDC reports that aerosol produced by e-cigarettes and inhaled by consumers may contain a number of dangerous substances, including:

  • Nicotine
  • Ultrafine particles
  • Toxic flavoring chemicals such as diacetyl that are linked to severe lung diseases
  • Cancer-causing chemicals
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead

JUUL and e-cigarette background  

JUUL e-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that are shaped like a USB flash drive. They work by heating a nicotine liquid, producing an aerosol that is inhaled. As JUUL is the top-selling e-cigarette brand in the country, “Juuling” has grown into a common colloquialism for vaping or using e-cigarettes.

A single JUULpod contains the nicotine equivalent of 20 cigarettes according to the manufacturer, but in a highly concentrated and potentially toxic liquid form. Both children and adults have been poisoned by e-liquids since they were first introduced, whether by breathing, swallowing or otherwise absorbing e-cigarette liquid through their skin or eyes, according to the CDC.

JUUL claims its products are solely for adults. However, common e-cigarette flavors, such as mango, vanilla, peanut butter and jelly, cotton candy, and bubble bum have made e-cigarettes attractive to teens and young children, according to a Surgeon General advisory report.   

In 2018, 3.6 million middle and high school students in the U.S. reported using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, including 4.9% of middle school students and 20.8% of high school students, the CDC reports

Despite already being on the market, vaping devices have not yet been approved by the FDA. In June 2019, San Francisco became the first major U.S. city to ban e-cigarettes until the devices are adequately tested and approved by the FDA. The FDA has given manufacturers until 2022 to submit applications for approval.

Exploding e-cigarette batteries

In addition to reviewing the safety of e-cigarettes, our attorneys are also accepting claims of injuries caused by the lithium-ion batteries used for e-cigarettes, which have the potential to explode. Explosions can occur without warning while the device is charging, during use when a person is “vaping,” or even when a defective spare battery is not connected to the device. Reported explosions have often involved certain box shaped, or “box mod,” devices that are popular among users for their longer battery lives.

Related News:

CBS News (August 14, 2019) New warnings of link between lung disease in teens and e-cigarettes
CBS News (August 13, 2019) Teens are being hospitalized for lung damage after vaping – "It's mind-boggling," doctor says
Forbes (July 18, 2019) Teen’s Two-Pod A Day Juul Addiction Caused Massive Stroke, Lawsuit Says
Vox (April 3, 2019) Nicotine-induced seizures could be a side effect of vaping
Business Insider (November 18, 2018) The FDA is preparing to crack down on e-cigs like the Juul — here’s why vaping is so dangerous