News surrounding deaths and illnesses linked to vaping use has prompted the CDC to warn people to reconsider their e cigarettes until the investigations into at least 6 deaths and 450 illnesses nationwide yields answers. Vaping giant Juul has already come under fire from federal health authorities who say that Juul Labs pitched e-cigs as a safer alternative to smoking – even at schools – without demonstrating scientific evidence that their product is indeed less harmful or poses less risk before making the claim. Unfortunately, the branding of electronic cigarettes as safer alternatives to the real thing seems to have resonated with young people, a demographic now hooked on nicotine and suffering the brunt of recent illnesses.
Just yesterday, Goddard Public Schools in Kansas announced plans to file suit against the manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of electronic cigarettes and vaping products in an effort to deal with the vaping epidemic in their schools. Those in favor of the action feel it is their responsibility to “take a stand” noting that nicotine is a strong addictive drug and the higher amounts in the electronic products certainly does not make them a safe alternative by any measure.
As if nicotine addiction among youth is not troubling enough, the rash of vaping linked illnesses that have landed people in the hospital now have authorities scrambling to understand what connection e-cigs may have to serious lung disease. The battery powered devices that mimic smoking by heating liquids containing nicotine and THC have come under intense scrutiny following recent deaths from acute respiratory illnesses that appear to be linked to vaping. As of last week, the Washington Post reported 450 U.S. cases of potentially vaping related illness spread among 33 states and one territory.
Studies show that more than a third of high school students report vaping over the past year, many of whom do not disclose using e-cigs to parents or health professionals. Last year, e-cigs were the most popular product among nearly 5 million high school and middle school students, who are risk for lifetime nicotine addiction and possibly injury pending the results of the ongoing investigation into the alleged vaping-related deaths and illnesses.
Many are happy to see the recent FDA admonishment of e-cigarette company JUUL Labs Inc., and tobacco giant Altria Group, Inc., for illegally marketing its product as a safer alternative to cigarettes in light of the mounting evidence linking addiction to electronic cigarettes to health hazards, numerous legal motions, and a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of a family claiming the companies involved continue to promote harmful products to their teenage kid. Regulations surrounding e-cigarettes may follow.
Class action claims involving e cigarettes are complex as questions of jurisdiction, liability and cause all multiply as defendants and plaintiffs are added to the class action lawsuit.
If you have questions on filing a class action lawsuit about a service, product, or any issue, contact the experienced class action law attorneys of Stoltze & Stoltze, PLC at (515) 244-1473.
Source: Yahoo Finance, “FDA Warning Letter, Class Action Lawsuit Slam JUUL E-cigarette Maker and Parent Altria Group”, September 10, 2019; KWCH.com, “Goddard Public Schools Announces Plans to Sue E-Cig, Vaping Industry”, September 10, 2019