What is Juul?

The Juul vaping device shares its name with the company that manufactures it, Juul Labs. The imitation cigarette quickly rose to prominence, partly due to its small, compact, easily-concealable size, and partly due to its temperature-regulating ability that prevents overheating. In addition, the unit’s batteries may be recharged via a USB port.

In order for the Juul e-cigarette to function and produce a cloud of white vapor when the user exhales, the unit uses JUULpods (cartridges) that contain liquid nicotine salts. When the salt is heated inside the vaping device, the liquid then vaporizes into an aerosol that the person inhales. Users can choose flavors like mango, mint, crème, fruit, and cucumber. Juul users can also select a nicotine concentration of either 3% or 5%. Each of the cartridges is filled with an amount of nicotine equivalent to a pack of cigarettes and will provide about 200 puffs. The total nicotine content in their products is higher than most of the other e-cigarettes on the market.

Juul Linked to Health Problems & Accused of Marketing to Minors

Vaping devices, like Juul, are not nearly as safe to use as they have been advertised, and minors and young adults are the victims.

Who is at Risk?

  • Children, young adults, and teenagers
  • Former smokers who switched to Juuling
  • Frequent users of Juul

Risks of Juuling

  • Nicotine addiction
  • Lung disease
  • Cancer-causing chemicals
  • Inhaling ultrafine particles
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Harmful aerosol substances

Common Symptoms of Vaping

  • Coughing, trouble breathing, or chest pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Fatigue, fever, or weight loss

Lawsuits Against Juul

Despite its relatively short existence, the Juul vaping device is in legal crosshairs over its reputedly deceptive marketing tactics that target teens and kids under the legal age of smoking. As recently as April 2019, a class action lawsuit against Juul Labs was announced by a Florida law firm accusing the company of violating federal racketeering laws. Plaintiffs in the suit allege Juul Labs used similar tactics that tobacco-based cigarette companies previously used to target youth and purposely increase underage addiction to nicotine.

Earlier suits in 2018 charged that Juul Labs was responsible for increased nicotine addiction in consumers due to the insertion of high levels of nicotine potency in vaping cartridges. Plaintiffs in these suits range from age 14 to adults and span across several states. The federal government and some local governments have performed investigations and even issued bans against the company. Interestingly, in a rare occurrence in 2018, the Surgeon General issued a national advisory about the epidemic of vaping among youth and pinpointed Juul because of its easily concealable design. The advisory came only a month after a warning was issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention alerting the public that e-cigarette use had risen 78% among high school students.

2004

Adam Bowen and James Monsees start developing e-cigarette prototypes.

2007

Bowen and Monsees create a business plan, acquire investors, then incorporate as Ploom.

2012

Ploom introduces a premium vaporizer, Pax.

2015

Ploom is renamed Pax Labs; then Juul is introduced in June.

2017

Juul Labs is created (not related to Pax.) Slow start, but then market share jumped from 10% to nearly 50%. Surpassed British American Tobacco’s “Vuse.” Juul becomes leading e-cigarette in U.S.

2018

Juul adds about 120 employees every month. Wells Fargo estimated Juul Labs’ value at $38 billion. In April, the Food and Drug Administration begins an investigation of Juul Labs, seizing thousands of documents.

September 12, 2018

The FDA commissioner at the time issues a statement stating that teenage use of e-cigarettes has reached “epidemic” levels and warns the e-cigarette industry to address this issue or risk having their products taken off the market.

September 13, 2018

The FDA performed an unannounced inspection of Juul Labs’ headquarters and collected over a thousand pages of documents.

2019

Juul Labs comes under scrutiny from local and federal officials for likely targeting youth with marketing tactics and for increased vaping among teens.

March 13, 2019

The FDA issues new regulations that restrict the sale of e-cigarettes at gas stations, convenience stores, and pharmacies. The agency also requested that all e-cigarette manufacturers show that their products meet the new regulations by August 8, 2021.

April 3, 2019

The FDA announces that they have received reports of people experiencing seizures after using e-cigarettes.

June 25, 2019

San Francisco, the headquarters of Juul Labs, bans the sale of e-cigarettes.

July 12, 2019

E-cigarette manufacturers are given a deadline (May 12, 2020) to submit premarket tobacco applications to the FDA.

August 7, 2019

The FDA announces that it received a total of 127 reports of seizures and other neurological symptoms.

August 19, 2019

A 19-year-old Juul user files a lawsuit against the company claiming that Juul used deceptive marketing practices that led to his nicotine addiction. The lawsuit also names the tobacco company Philip Morris and Juul investor, Altria.

August 29, 2019

The Federal Trade Commission investigates the marketing methods of 6 e-cigarette companies including Juul.

August 23, 2019

The CDC announces that 193 potential qualified retainers of severe lung disease linked to e-cigarettes have been reported by 22 states.
The Illinois Department of Public Health announces the first death caused by respiratory illness linked to vaping.

September 6, 2019

Four deaths linked to vaping are reported that occurred between September 4 and 6th.

September 9, 2019

The FDA issues a warning letter to Juul Labs about the company’s marketing of unauthorized modified risk tobacco products and targeting the youth.

September 12, 2019

Photos of revealing the severe damage to the lungs caused by vaping and Juul continues its “Make the Switch” ad despite FDA warning.

September 16, 2019

The Washington State Department of Health, announced three more confirmed qualified retainers of severe lung disease linked to vaping.

September 19, 2019

The CDC says the number of qualified retainers of vaping-related lung illnesses has risen to 530 across 38 states.

September 20, 2019

Walmart and Sam’s Club stops selling e-cigarettes amid the controversy of e-cigarettes and regulations.

September 24, 2019

The California Department of Public Health releases a health advisory warning that states the “imminent public health risks posed by vaping any product.”

September 25, 2019

Juul Labs CEO resigns and the company stops all advertising.

September 26, 2019

The CDC reports vaping-related lung illnesses increased to 805 with 12 known deaths.

September 27, 2019

The District Attorney of San Joaquin County launches an investigation of Juul Labs.

October 7, 2019

Massachussettes health officials report the state’s first vaping-related death and the CDC reports 18 vaping-related deaths across 15 states.

October 9, 2019

The Washington Department of Health votes to temporarily ban the sale of nicotine and THC flavored vaping products

Updates

References

Jeniece Pettitt and Adam Isaak. “Inside Juul Labs — how the vaping giant hooked its users and became a $15 billion company”, CNBC, Accessed May 3, 2019.

CDC. “National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS)”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Accessed May 3, 2019.

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