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Targeting youth with vaping addiction

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2021 | Personal Injury

When Juul Labs first came out with their product line a few years ago, like many companies that have targeted American youth over the years, their marketing ploys lured underage audiences with candy-inspired flavors and launch parties more suited to young teens than 18-and-up customers. Their stated goal is to provide vaping products as a healthier alternative to smokers, but their early social media presence has made these assertions seem disingenuous.

It turns out that Juul Labs has been putting the same formulation of addictive chemicals into their products that cigarette companies have used for decades. The unique combination of nicotine salts and benzoic acid in e-cigarettes delivers a nicotine kick much higher than conventional cigarettes. Cover up the bitter taste with sweet and syrupy flavors to attract young customers, and the ruse is complete.

The negative effect of vaping on teenagers

By marketing such a product targeting young people, Juul products make vaping a gateway habit that can lead to other addictions later, and the state laws designed to protect teenagers potentially create a black market for addicted users.

There are other hazards as well. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, the nicotine in vaping products has a negative impact on the brain development of teens, impairs memory as well as cognitive function, and can increase the possibility of anxiety disorders or depression.

Vaping and e-cigarette laws in Indiana

Indiana law categorizes vape pens and e-cigarettes as tobacco products, and prohibits their use by anyone under 18 years of age. A vendor does not need a permit to sell e-cigarettes in the state, but only 18+ businesses may provide e-cigarette self-service and vending machines.  In addition, mail order vendors must display an 18+ warning and use good faith efforts to establish the legal age of the customer either with a verified ID or by requiring age verification from a third party, but they cannot advertise these products as a modified risk.

Lawsuits against Juul and other manufacturers of vaping products can include claims of injury due to nicotine addiction as well as such increased health risks as cardiovascular disease, respiratory failure, stroke, seizures and mental health and behavioral issues. Third-party defendants may share liability for violating state law as well. The injured party may seek compensation for medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering and emotional distress.

 

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