The Dangers of Juul, a Public Health Crisis

Andrew Levine
Partner, Attorney
Juul Lawsuit

Although Juul Labs insists that it never marketed its flavored nicotine pods and e-cigarettes to young people, the evidence suggests otherwise. Despite mounting proof that Juul products have caused lung disease and other respiratory ailments, the company insists that its only purpose in creating and marketing the vaping product was to provide an alternative to traditional cigarettes for adult smokers.

This simply isn't true, according to a November 2019 article published in the New York Times. Even former employees and executives have testified that marketing Juul e-cigarettes to young people were indeed deliberate despite the known health risks. A review of the company's social media accounts before they came down after a surprise inspection also reveals a business that promoted nicotine addiction. Regardless of age, any person injured by a vape pen or other Juul product has the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit or join a class-action lawsuit.

Did You Experience a Lung Injury from Vaping or Using an E-Cigarette?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a joint statement regarding the dangers of Juul products in 2019. At that time, the government agencies knew about 215 people who experienced personal injury from using Juul products. That number more than doubled within weeks and includes six deaths in addition to the numerous injuries. Both agencies refer to the use of Juul pods and related products as a public health crisis.

You have the right to hire a product liability attorney New York if you have suffered lung disease or another serious consequence of these irresponsible products. If you are underage, one or both parents may initiate the lawsuit on your behalf within New York's three-year statute of limitations. However, you may initiate your own personal injury lawsuit or join a class-action lawsuit once you turn 18.

Raphaelson Levine, a personal injury law firm located in Manhattan and serving the entire New York City area, has more than 20 years of experience as a voice for the injured.

"Juul tobacco products fall under the category of product liability, a unique type of personal injury lawsuit. Since we don't charge a fee unless we win your Juul lawsuit, you have nothing to lose by requesting a free consultation with a defective product lawyer NYC today." Andrew Levine, NYC Personal Injury Lawyer, Raphaelson & Levine

How Juul Rose to Prominence in the e-Cigarette Market

Juul has always been about dominating the e-cigarette industry, regardless of its claim that it only wanted to offer a safer alternative to adult smokers. With the low smoking rates of young adults in their 20s and early 30s, Juul made the deliberate decision to begin marketing aggressively to this demographic to gain market share and pay dividends to its investors.  It also wanted to get ahead of pending legislation by the federal government that would place heavier restrictions on vaping products.

It became clear by 2017 that the company was not entirely successful in reaching its target market. Unfortunately, its products ended up in the hands of high school students more often than young adults. Whether it was peer pressure, the novelty of e-cigarette use, or a combination of both, older teenagers rushed to buy Juul's flavored nicotine pods and related products. 

Although Juul did add a nicotine warning label to its packages in 2018, this only happened because the FDA required it. Company representatives also refused to sign a statement acknowledging that it would stop marketing to students in high school and even younger. This should leave no doubt in your mind that Juul only concerned itself with selling its e-cigarette devices, regardless of the mounting injuries and deaths associated with them.

Juul claimed to be against Big Tobacco, but it had a goal to eventually sell the company to one that meets this definition. Altria, a well-known Big Tobacco player, purchased a 35 percent stake in Juul back in December 2018. 

Collectively, these actions set the stage for a public health crisis by ensuring that younger generations became addicted to nicotine and to using e-cigarette products. With numerous Juul lawsuits filed in the United States, the very future of e-cigarettes remains in doubt as does the question of whether the company will remain in business.

What Are Electronic Cigarettes?

More commonly known as e-cigarettes, users hold this product in their hands and inhale the vapors that it produces. Juul manufactures the vapors by heating liquid that contains artificial flavorings, nicotine, and other types of chemicals. Designed to mimic the experience of smoking a traditional cigarette, Juul products quickly became popular among teenagers. This was especially true among those who had never smoked in the past.

Other names for e-cigarettes include:

  • ENDS, which stands for electronic nicotine delivery system
  • Vape pens
  • Vapes
  • Vaporizers

The liquid contained in an e-cigarette often referred to as e-juice or e-liquid, comes in pods or cartridges. More than 7,000 flavor options exist currently, making Juul products especially attractive to a younger group looking to experiment. Far from being a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes, some electronic cigarettes actually produce more nicotine. The result is long-term health consequences for thousands of young people, including lung disease and seizure disorders.

The most typical symptoms associated with seizures caused by vaping include:

  • Staring spells
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Body shakes and/or stiffens
  • Muscle spasms
  • Loss of voluntary bladder and/or bowel control
  • Uncontrolled jerking of the arms and/or legs
  • Perception difficulties

Exploring the Health Risks Associated with Vaping

The risk of becoming addicted to nicotine is one of the most common and obvious consequences of using products produced by Juul Labs, Inc. This is especially troublesome among high school students and young adults. Numerous reports from past and current younger customers of the e-cigarette maker indicate that they had no intention of ever smoking cigarettes. However, Juul users are far more likely than non-users to begin using combustible cigarettes and other products containing tobacco. For many, the side effects of Juul included becoming so addicted to nicotine that they sought other products to use from the e-cigarette company.

"Just as troubling as the addiction factor is the harm that nicotine can cause to a developing adolescent brain. Common complaints among younger users is that using Juul products affected their attention, cognition, and memory."
Andrew Levine, NYC Personal Injury Lawyer, Raphaelson & Levine

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regular use of nicotine makes it much more likely for teenagers and young adults to develop addictions to other drugs. This is due to the fact that nicotine sets the stage for increasingly stronger addictions.

The various flavors available in Juul e-cigarette products are especially attractive to younger people. They also represent a significant health risk according to the Surgeon General of the United States. Certain chemicals in the flavored pods produce a toxic effect when inhaled. This can be especially problematic when the user mixes flavors due to a significant increase in toxicity, a practice popular with younger people in social settings. 

Concerning seizures, they are more likely to happen in adolescents and young adults because the brain is not fully developed yet. Introducing toxic chemicals into the brain can set the stage for the user to experience non-epileptic seizures even when not currently vaping. 

As Juul products have become more popular, increasing numbers of hospitals are reporting young patients arriving at emergency departments with what appears to be pneumonia. After ruling out pneumonia due to lack of a viral or bacterial infection, however, doctors are discovering several presentations of lung disease and general respiratory problems such as abnormal lung morphology and severe shortness of breath. 

Common diagnoses among young people who use Juul e-cigarettes include acute eosinophilic pneumonia, bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia, and acute exogenous lipid pneumonia. Some patients require time in the intensive care unit (ICU) to recover from lung illnesses while others must use a ventilator to return their breathing to normal.

The most common symptoms related to respiratory failure and other lung illnesses brought on by Juul products include:

  •  Breathing difficulty
  •  Chest pain
  •  Cough
  •  Hypoxemia, a term that describes low oxygen blood levels
  •  Weight loss
  •  Fever
  •  Fatigue
  •  Nausea
  •  Vomiting
  •  Diarrhea

Vaping may also increase the risk of strokes in young users. A 2017 study on pulmonary function after the use of e-cigarettes reported significant increases in blood pressure and heart rate among volunteers who used Juul products containing nicotine. This is significant because high blood pressure is a leading risk factor for stroke.

According to public health officials, the most common symptoms of stroke include:

  • One side of the face droops when the person smiles or attempts to speak
  • One arm immediately falls down when the person tries to lift it
  • Slurred or confused speech
  • Severe headache
  • Sudden weakness in an arm, leg, or the face, which typically occurs only on the right or left side of the body
  • Dizziness, balance and coordination issues, and difficulty walking
  • Sudden onset of vision problems in one or both eyes
  • Difficulty speaking and/or sudden onset of mental confusion

In its rush to get vaping products to the market and appease its investors, Juul completely overlooked potential dangers it should have taken the time to research further. Whether you have suffered lung illnesses, seizures, stroke, or another serious consequence of vaping with Juul pods, we encourage you to contact a product liability attorney New York from the personal injury law firm of Raphaelson Levine as soon as possible at 212-268-3222.

Injuries Caused by Juul e-Cigarettes

From New York to California, the news about vaping continues to grow worse. Not only do the e-cigarette devices lead to numerous health risks, but they are also associated with serious injuries as well. According to the CDC, one of the most common reasons people file a Juul lawsuit is that they experienced a vaping pen or similar product blowing up in their hands or mouth. It quickly becomes a product liability issue for our New York lawyers when e-cigarette manufacturers fail to warn customers of potential dangers. For example, failing to remove the batteries of a vaping product when not in use can cause shortages they lead to the device exploding.

The CDC reports that the following injuries are most common among young people who vape:

  •  Burns ranging from first-degree to third-degree
  •  Eye injuries
  •  Lacerations
  •  Loosened or knocked-out teeth
  •  Traumatic brain injuries

Remember that you have three years from the date of your personal injury to file a Juul lawsuit under New York law. Because e-cigarettes and other vaping products are a product liability issue, New York places the burden of proof on you as the plaintiff to demonstrate that Juul knowingly took risks with its vaping products and that you suffered a serious injury or illness because of it. 

Proving fault in an e-cigarette product liability case requires you to demonstrate a serious error in design, manufacturing, or marketing that you can reasonably tie to your lung illness, injury, or other health condition. Attorneys from our Manhattan, New York law firm will spend significant time researching your case to prove liability and then argue for you to receive maximum compensation in your Juul lawsuit. We also represent patients who wish to participate in a class-action lawsuit against Juul.

Reasons Young Adults and Adult Smokers Choose to Pursue a Juul Lawsuit

According to the attorney general, the reasons for filing a personal injury Juul lawsuit typically include one of the following:

  • The e-cigarette device contained a serious manufacturing defect that increases the risk of serious injury among all Juul users. Overheated batteries that later cause electronic cigarettes to explode are a common example.
  • E-liquid cartridges containing high levels of nicotine are responsible for serious side effects such as convulsions or seizures due to the toxicity level
  • The nicotine salts the manufacturer added to Juul pods make them highly addictive, especially to high school students and young adults whose brains are still developing. Once nicotine addiction sets in, it can be hard for Juul users to quit the habit.

People who file a personal injury lawsuit or class action lawsuit rightly feel that Juul should have known about and prevented these dangers. Unfortunately, documentation proves that the e-cigarette maker repeatedly lied to customers, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the real risks of vaping with Juul products. 

"Our law firm, along with the current attorney general, feels strongly that those responsible for this public health crisis need to be held accountable for the lung illnesses, health risks, injuries, and other problems associated with electronic cigarettes."

Andrew Levine, NYC Personal Injury Lawyer, Raphaelson & Levine

Many parents agree, as evidenced by a large number of personal injury lawsuits and class action lawsuits initiated on behalf of minors. It turns out that Juul vaping products don't provide a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes at all. 

Types of Compensation You Could Potentially Receive from a Juul Lawsuit

As with all types of personal injury lawsuits, you could potentially receive monetary damages as well as non-monetary or subjective damages. Those that fall under the first category include reimbursement for the following:

  • The cost of e-cigarettes and accessories such as flavor pods.
  • The actual cost of medical treatment while you were hospitalized and recovering from problems caused by electronic cigarettes, attending doctor appointments, physical therapy, prescriptions, and all other legitimate costs.
  • Lost wages because you needed to take time away from work to deal with Juul side effects and/or the difference in pay between your previous job and the position you had to accept to accommodate your physical or mental limitations due to dangerous vaping products.
  • Funeral and burial expenses if you lost a close family member because of Juul products.

If you know that you will be filing a Juul lawsuit, the best thing you can do is save all documentation proving your case and the proof of the expenses you incurred due to using a defective product.

You could also receive compensation for non-monetary losses such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life. Finally, the circumstances of your Juul lawsuit may be severe enough for the judge to impose punitive damages. This is an amount intended to punish the defendant for flagrant disregard for the health and safety of others.

Request a Free Consultation With a New York Juul Attorney Today

Our law firm is pleased to offer a free consultation to all new clients. This is your opportunity to talk more about your case with our defective product lawyer NYC, call today at 212-268-3222. It also enables the lawyers at our personal injury law firm to learn more about you and how using Juul products has negatively impacted your life. 

At Raphaelson Levine, we have always been a Voice For The Injured. While it may feel intimidating to go up against tobacco companies, you can depend on our law firm to aggressively pursue your right to maximum compensation due to Juul's negligence. Anyone who has experienced a serious injury, illness, or loss of a loved one due to the use of Juul products is eligible to hire a New York product liability lawyer. We encourage you to do exactly that before time runs out and you no longer have the opportunity to make Juul pay for putting profits ahead of people.

Andrew Levine
Partner, Attorney
Andrew J. Levine is a partner at Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm, in New York, NY. A graduate of Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. Mr. Levine has been featured in New York Magazine as one of New York’s “Top Personal Injury Litigators” and recognized by Super Lawyers as a “Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney in New York.”

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