Juul is investing $125 million and creating 500 jobs by funding an assembly and packaging plant in Lexington County, SC, it announced yesterday (May 13, 2019) and reported by thestate.com. “This is a great day in Lexington County,” county council chairman Scott Whetstone said. “I’m very energized about the potential that our county has moving forward.”
Not everyone in South Carolina is on the same page. Juul has received heavy investment from the Altria Group, a tobacco conglomerate and frequent campaign contributor to South Carolina politicians, but a proposal to make it harder for SC teenagers to get their hands on e-cigarettes was approved by the SC House Judiciary Committee.
In San Francisco, Juul has donated $7,500 to become a “Platinum Sponsor” of the San Francisco Council of District Merchants Association’s annual “Future Forward” gala celebration, counter to Supervisor Shamann Walton and City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s proposed e-cigarette cartridge ban.
Regardless where you are in the U.S., the FDA has called vape usage among teens an “epidemic”. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says vaping rose by nearly 80 percent among high school students from 2017 to 2018, which wiped out previous progress in reducing tobacco use among teenagers.
One Juul cartridge has the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.
Juul Vape Lawsuits
E-cigarette lawsuits allege one or both of the following claims:
• The vaping device contained a manufacturing defect that caused injury to the user or others
• The e-liquid flavor “pods” used with the device contain highly addictive chemicals, such as nicotine.
Jared and Erin Nesmith from Sarasota filed a lawsuit against Juul, arguing that the vape company purposely targets teens, the OrlandoWeekly.com reported. Ashlyn, age 15, soon became addicted to vaping and she was recently pulled from school due to seizures. Erin Nesmith told Spectrum News 9 that once her daughter started vaping, all she cared about was “where she was going to get her next Juul from, where she was going to get her next hit from."
E-Cig Use Bad for You?
Teens who use electronic cigarettes are more likely to start smoking regular cigarettes and to eventually increase their use of both products, say researchers in a study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research (Oct 2018). But the researchers also found that increased use of both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes over time is not linked with other factors such as alcohol or marijuana use.
Despite much research showing that vaping is harmful, some people simply refuse to believe it. A study published in Pediatrics (March 2019) showed that only about one-quarter of parents who smoke e-cigarettes or tobacco have rules against vaping in the house, even though 73 percent of parents who smoked cigarettes did have rules prohibiting tobacco use in the house.
"Our work provides more evidence that young people who use e-cigarettes progress to smoking cigarettes in the future," said study author Michael Dunbar, a behavioral scientist at the RAND Corp, a nonprofit research organization. For this study, more than 2,000 youth in California completed three surveys over a three-year-period, allowing researchers to model e-cigarette and cigarette use from ages 16 to 20. RAND released the results in October 2018.
Whatever your age, inhaling chemicals and metals is bad for you. Period. A study published in December 2018 found that the vapors from a variety of vape devices contain potentially toxic levels of metals, including lead. The study comes on the heels of research from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Last year their researchers found metals in e-liquids used in the devices. Study author Ana María Rule, PhD, MHS, told Men’s Health that a “significant number of the devices emitted vapors with potentially unsafe levels of lead, chromium, manganese and/or nickel.”
Potential claims against Juul and other e-cigarette companies are being reviewed for parents of teens and individuals who have suffered a vaping injury and that injury could have been avoided if adequate warnings about e-cigarette side effects had been provided.
Two other companies have also been named in the vape lawsuits but Juul owns almost 75 percent of the e-cigarette market share. According to Bloomberg, the San Francisco-based company is expecting $3.4 billion in revenue this year, and reportedly earned $12.4 million in profits in 2018. If tobacco lawsuits in the past are anything to go by, Juul will need deep pockets.