October 24, 2019
Two lawsuits originating in Lehigh County have been filed against e-cigarette maker Juul claiming the company failed to warn the public about the dangers of e-cigarettes and it marketed its products to teens and young adults.
Connor Evans, 21, of Bethlehem, filed a lawsuit on Monday against the San Francisco-based company after sustaining a lung injury that caused him to be out of work for months. He was hospitalized at St. Luke's Hospital in May and put on life support for a week. Doctors suspect the cause of the lung injury is related to vaping after they ruled out other potential health causes. He still suffers from medical problems as a result, the Morning Call reported.
Evans alleges Juul advertises its products to attract minors, young adults and those who do not usually use tobacco products. "Under the guise of a safe alternative, Juul thus exposes these nonregular-tobacco users to highly-addictive products," the lawsuit states.
Another lawsuit was filed by a family from Lehigh County in the U.S. District Court of Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Oct. 16, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The family, whose names were withheld for privacy concerns, is suing the e-cigarette company after their 13-year-old child became addicted to the nicotine in vaping. The lawsuit alleges, similarly to Evans, that Juul's vaping products are marketed towards teens.
Juul outlined their initiatives to reduce and limit usage of its products among minors and young adults in August. That plan includes banning the sale of Juul products to anyone under 21 and a program to penalize retailers that sell repeatedly their products to anyone under 21. The company suspended its popular non-menthol flavors, including cucumber, mango, creme and fruit, last week following a pending FDA review.
At least one person from Pennsylvania has died from a lung injury related to vaping earlier this month. Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine asked residents to refrain from vaping, specifically illegal vaping products and products containing the marijuana compound THC.
At least nine cases of vaping-related lung injuries have been confirmed in Pennsylvania, along with 12 probable cases. There are 63 cases under investigation. In the U.S., there have been more than 1,500 confirmed cases of lung injuries related to vaping and 33 deaths, according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.