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Pinellas School Board May Be Joining Lawsuit Against JUUL

The Pinellas County School Board is in talks of joining a lawsuit against JUUL Labs, one of the most popular e-cigarette brands. 

The decision comes as a way to prevent youth vaping.  Vaping has become a big issue with teens across the country and in Pinellas County alone, school leaders say there’s been a 738 percent increase in just the last couple of years in the number of students using tobacco products at school, something they attribute directly to vaping. 

The district has also partnered with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital to launch the tobacco clinic.  Students who are caught vaping at school will have to go through a two-night course to avoid being suspended.  The district is also in the process of adding vaping to the student code of conduct. 

School board members will be having a second discussion about potential litigation against JUUL Labs.  Right now, school leaders say the district is in the information gathering stage regarding the lawsuit, but that they’re open to anything that would help keep students safe. 

“If there are things that we can do to alleviate or eliminate or even reduce the amount of usage, that’s what we want to do, because not only do we want to keep them safe from all the other issues out there this is a huge health issue,” Pinellas County School Board Chairman Carol Cook said. 

The board will not be making any decision today on whether to join in on the suit, but Cook said they are looking at the potential costs and ramifications. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of February 4, 2020, a total of 2,758 hospitalized e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) cases or deaths have been reported from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands). A total of 64 deaths have been confirmed in 28 states and the District of Columbia.  

Smoke from regular cigarettes contains a cancer-causing mix of 7,000 chemicals. While e-cigarette aerosol typically has fewer toxic chemicals, it is still dangerous. The CDC warns that e-cigarette aerosol can contain:

  • Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
  • Flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical that has been linked to a serious lung disease
  • Cancer-causing chemicals
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead
  • Nicotine, which has been shown to have serious health effects

The CDC reports the following: “It is difficult for consumers to know what e-cigarette products contain. For example, some e-cigarettes marketed as containing zero percent nicotine have been found to contain nicotine.” 

For children and teens especially, vaping and exposure to e-cigarettes can be life threatening. The CDC has also said that acute nicotine exposure can be toxic, and swallowing, breathing, or absorbing e-cigarette liquid can be poisonous for both children and adults.

JUUL came on the market in 2015 and has been the fastest growing vape company in the US (sales increased by more than 780% between 2017 and 2018). However, recent lawsuits and bans on vaping have hurt JUUL as a whole as the fight against JUUL revolves around the company’s role in the youth vaping “epidemic.” More kids are vaping now than ever, and the blame is being placed on JUUL’s accessibility, concealability, the high levels of nicotine found in JUULpods, and the marketing campaign aimed at teens. 

As of February 13, 2020, the newest lawsuit against JUUL lawsuit accuses the company of paying NickJr.com and CartoonNetwork.com to stream advertisements for their vaping product. The argument is that these websites are obviously intended for a young audience, and the advertisements featured youthful and “cool” models that would likely appeal to teenagers. The lawsuit also accuses JUUL of emailing young teens about how they can purchase nicotine products as an underage person.

The lawsuit also accused JUUL of trying to recruit social media celebrities who have a young following to advertise their product. One of the celebrities mentioned is pop-star Miley Cyrus.

The Risks of Juuling – Juul Side Effects:

  • Severe addiction
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Heart attack or heart problems
  • Lung or respiratory failure
  • Mental health or behavior issues
  • Nicotine poisoning
  • Pregnancy complication or birth defects
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Stroke
  • Other complications

If you have questions about a Juul lawsuit or e-cigarette lawsuit, our Florida JUUL and E-Cigarette Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can offer you a free, no-obligation consultation. We would be happy to discuss your potential JUUL lawsuit or e-cigarette lawsuit free of charge.

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