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Individuals, including teenagers with no previous smoking experience, who have been led to believe that Juul is a safer alternative to smoking are now finding themselves addicted to Juul and even suffering serious health issues.
E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular in recent years, which is primarily due to aggressive advertising of the product as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. Since the introduction of their marketing campaigns, Juul and other e-cigarette companies have faced heavy scrutiny for these marketing tactics, with accusations that the companies are purposefully targeting teens in an attempt to create a new generation of smokers.
Recent studies have indicated that Juul and other e-cigarettes actually expose users to a number of dangerous health risks typically associated with cigarettes. While research into Juul is still in its early stages, experts are already warning personal injury law firms to be prepared for a significant increase in e-cigarette lawsuits.
WHAT IS A JUUL?
Juul is the popular USB-shaped smoking device that has captivated the e-cigarette market. Juul offers a sleek, concealable shape and various fruity flavors that make it a popular choice for both adult and teen smokers.
The Juul has two components: the bottom part is the device, which includes the temperature regulating system, and the top part is the e-liquid cartridge. The Juul’s e-liquid contains a mixture of glycerol, propylene glycol, flavoring, benzoic acid, and 40mg of nicotine, which is twice the amount found in similar devices.
While e-cigarettes have been marketed as a way to quit smoking, none of these brands have been proven by the FDA to be safe or effective, and most e-cigarette users continue to smoke traditional cigarettes.
JUUL EFFECTS ON LUNGS
The aerosol produced by e-cigarettes like Juul isn’t just harmless water vapor. Rather, it contains several potentially harmful chemicals, including carcinogens and heavy metals that may cause lung disease.
Chemical additives found in e-cigarettes, such as propylene glycol, may also be responsible for causing respiratory inflammation and other pulmonary problems. A number of other chemicals used in most e-liquids also contain aldehydes, which may irritate the mucosal tissue in the respiratory tract.
Another harmful effect of e-cigarettes on the lungs is called popcorn lung. While Juul does not contain the chemical that causes this illness, diacetyl, many other e-cigarettes use this chemical for flavoring the e-liquid. Specifically, popcorn lung occurs when scarring of the tiny air sacs in the lung results in the thickening and narrowing of airways. Popcorn lung causes coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, similar to the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
JUUL EFFECTS ON OTHER AREAS OF THE BODY
As compared to other combustible cigarettes, Juul and other e-cigarettes haven’t been around long enough to be studied thoroughly, therefore, an exhaustive list of their side effects has not yet been compiled. However, nicotine use has been thoroughly studied and includes the following side effects:
- Heart attack
- Nicotine poisoning
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
- Respiratory problems
- Serious lung issues
- Nicotine addiction
Another risk to consider involves defective e-cigarette batteries that may explode and cause fires, resulting in serious injury or even death.
During adolescence, the part of the brain that’s responsible for decision making and impulse control has not fully developed. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the brain is still growing until around the age of 25. Adolescents are uniquely at risk for long-term, long-lasting effects of exposing their brains to nicotine. These risks may include:
- Mood disorders
- Permanent lowering of impulse control
Nicotine may also change the way synapses are formed, which may harm parts of the brain that control attention and learning. Each time a new memory is created or a new skill is learned, stronger connections, or synapses, are built between brain cells. An adolescent brain builds these synapses faster than adult brains. Since addiction is a form of learning, adolescents may become addicted faster than adults.
The nicotine in e-cigarettes may also prime an adolescent brain for addiction to other, more serious drugs.
Lawsuits against Juul currently center around one of the following claims:
- High concentrations of nicotine may cause nicotine toxicity, which could lead to seizures or convulsions.
- Nicotine salts used in Juul pods are highly addictive, making it extremely difficult for people to stop vaping.
- E-cigarette devices contain a manufacturing defect that causes injury to the user, or others nearby, due to the battery overheating and exploding.
NOTABLE E-CIGARETTE LAWSUITS
Many individual lawsuits alleging personal injury or death due to vape use have been filed in numerous federal courts across the nation.
P. ON BEHALF OF D.P. (NEW YORK)
This lawsuit claimed that after first trying Juul in September 2017, D.P. became instantly addicted to nicotine, and despite attempts to make him to stop, he was unable to do so. The suit was filed by the child’s mother, who also alleged that Juul products do not contain adequate warnings about the inclusion of nicotine as an ingredient, or the addictive nature of the product.
VAPE BATTERY EXPLOSION LAWSUIT (TREACY GANGI)
In November 2017, a woman named Treacy Gangi filed a lawsuit on behalf of her husband, who was killed when an e-cigarette exploded, launching part of the device into his brain. The explosion also caused a fire in his home, and Treacy’s husband died as a direct result of injuries sustained from the explosion and resulting fire.
Filing a Claim
If you are considering filing a lawsuit based on a vape related injury, you may consider taking these steps:
STOP USING THE JUUL IMMEDIATELY
If you have suffered injuries related to your use of Juul, you should try and mitigate these injuries as soon as possible by discontinuing your use of the product. However, if stopping your Juul use causes you to suffer serious physical or mental injury, then you do not need to stop completely, but you should at least try and significantly decrease your Juul use.
In a Juul lawsuit, some of the best evidence you may provide your attorney shows how often you used your Juul product and how it caused your injury. Evidence may include:
- Receipts and/or billing information detailing your Juul purchases
- Medical records associated with injuries suffered from Juul
- Any photo or video evidence of you previously using Juul
- The actual Juul device that caused your injuries
You should also consider keeping a journal detailing the history of your Juul use and the progression of your addiction or injuries.
JUUL LAWSUIT COMPENSATION
After being injured by Juul, your damages may include:
- Medical bills. This may include future medical expenses as well.
- Lost income. This may include loss of future earning capacity.
- Property damage. This may include costs for replacing the Juul product if it exploded or was defective, or for costs relating to property damage because of a resulting fire.
- Pain and suffering. This may include damages for emotional trauma, psychological anguish, PTSD, fear, and anxiety.
- Punitive damages. Punitive damages may be awarded if the e-cigarette company was deliberately negligent and did not take care to protect and warn its customers.
HOW MAY A LAWYER HELP?
The assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney may help you develop a successful claim. Generally, an experienced personal injury attorney may:
- Assist you in determining liability. Products liability law holds manufacturers liable for dangerous and defective products placed into the marketplace; therefore, an attorney may help you bring a products liability claim against the e-cigarette manufacturer if you were injured by an exploding e-cigarette. A lawyer may also help you prove that the e-cigarette company was negligent in failing to warn its customers of the dangers and side effects of Juul usage.
- Assist you in collecting and organizing evidence. An attorney may help you collect as much evidence as possible, which includes: names of witnesses and other parties involved in the accident, medical records and costs of treatment, and any photos of the accident scene.
GET HELP FROM EXPERIENCED PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
At Zinda Law Group, our personal injury attorneys have the experience and knowledge that has helped many injured victims seek compensation after suffering an injury from an accident. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you build the strongest case possible and to seek the maximum compensation you may be entitled to.
Our firm also believes that an injured victim should never have to worry about their ability to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your personal injury claim. That’s our No Fee Guarantee.
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