Of all electronic cigarettes (also known as “e-cigs”) on the market, the Juul is now one of the most popular devices. According to data from Wells Fargo, sales of the Juul have surpassed those of any other e-cig available, including those sold by major tobacco companies. The last couple years have also seen dozens of “knock-off” devices that attempt to imitate the Juul’s sleek, colorful design and pod-based delivery system. One could argue that these copycat devices have only increased the popularity of the Juul itself.
Unfortunately, much of that popularity is with teens and young adults. Of the 27.5 percent of high-school students who use e-cigarettes, more than half say the Juul is their device of choice. And the Juul delivers more nicotine than any other e-cigarette on the market — each Juul pod contains roughly as much nicotine as one pack of cigarettes.
Nicotine is harmful to any user, but it is an especially dangerous drug to the adolescent brain, which is still developing. Nicotine can affect things like memory and concentration, and put young people at higher risk of developing future addictions to tobacco and other substances.
The statistics around teen usage of the Juul are alarming when considered in light of the device’s popularity:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly two-thirds of Juul users between the ages of 15 and 24 do not know that Juul contains nicotine. This is more than a little problematic, as nicotine is a highly addictive substance. As Robin Koval, CEO and president of Truth Initiative, said last year, “When you consider that more than 50 percent of current JUUL users aged 15-17 use the device three or more times a month and 25.3 percent used it 10 or more times, this is not experimentation — it’s a pathway to addiction,”
In keeping with that, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) noted in a study that teenage e-cig users are more likely to start smoking: 30.7 percent of e-cig users started smoking within six months, compared to just 8.1 percent of non-e-cig users who started smoking.
Advertising has played a major role in attracting teens and young adults to Juul. Although the company denies targeting that specific demographic in its campaigns, Juul’s original campaigns heavily featured youth-oriented imagery and themes, and often focused on social media channels. In fact, a 2018 study by JAMA Pediatrics found that 8 in 10 of Juul’s Twitter followers were between the ages of 13 and 20.
Juul has since agreed to a settlement to restrict its advertising practices when it comes to teens and young adults. Under the new guidelines, Juul may not advertise or promote its products on social media or media outlets where at least 15 percent of the audience is under 21. Nor can it advertise within 1,000 feet of schools or playgrounds. Juul is also prohibited from using models under the age of 28 in advertisements.
Nonetheless, e-cigarette use in general is on the rise. The National Youth Tobacco Survey reports that more than 5 million youth are currently using e-cigarettes, up from 3.6 million in 2018.
With both lawsuits and vaping-related injuries on the rise, Juul has a massive responsibility right now to ensure its product development, advertising, and outreach efforts do not further influence — and therefore endanger — the lives of American youth.
Clifford Law Offices stands behind the families affected by this crisis and the failure of large companies to responsibly market and manage their products. If you or your child has suffered an injury or developed a nicotine addiction due to the use of Juul e-cigarettes you may deserve compensation. Please reach out to us today to get your questions answered.