School closures to stop the spread of COVID-19 have given families a glimpse into what faculty and staff struggle with inside their school buildings on a daily basis—the devastating hold JUUL has on teens addicted to nicotine in e-cigarettes, and how it affects their behavior.
Last spring, when kids fell under the supervision of their parents’ eyes 24-7, many wanted to kick their vaping habit but struggled with their addiction to nicotine. One reason, smokers and vapers are at high risk of developing severe COVID and are seven times more likely to contract the virus.
But quitting e-cigarettes isn’t easy. Nicotine is one of the top five most addictive substances on earth, according to the Addiction Center. More than two-thirds of Americans who tried to quit smoking and vaping say they have been dependent on nicotine at some point during their lifetime.
Many vapers reached out on Twitter for support. A University of South Carolina Institute for Addiction Sciences study of JUUL-related tweets during the pandemic found a common theme: methods to quit, wanting to quit, and having quit.
COVID-related shutdowns appear to have curbed teen vaping. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during 2019, more than 10% of middle school students and more than a quarter of high school students had vaped within the past 30 days. During 2020, those numbers fell to 4.7% among middle schoolers and 19.6% among high schoolers. Another study found that teens reduced the amount they vaped as much as 45% during COVID shutdowns.
However, now that most students have returned to school, teenagers are vulnerable again to the lure of JUUL—a company that a months-long Congressional investigation found “deliberately targeted children to become the nation’s largest seller of e-cigarettes” with flavored vape juice, teen-focused advertising, and stealthy designed vape devices.
Schools continue to shoulder the effects of JUUL-addicted teens, directing funds and resources to help stem the vaping crisis. More than 140 school districts—including Baldwin County Public Schools and Jefferson County Schools, both in Alabama—have filed JUUL lawsuits to hold JUUL accountable for the harm they have inflected upon our children and to recoup losses they have suffered as a result. Collectively, the school districts serve more than 5 million students across 13 states.
Beasley Allen lawyers Joseph VanZandt, Sydney Everett, James Lampkin, Beau Darley, Soo Seok Yang, Davis Vaughan and Mass Torts Section Head Andy Birchfield are currently representing a number of individuals who are suing the top U.S. vape maker JUUL for the negative impact its products have had on their lives. These lawyers currently make up our firm’s JUUL Litigation Team. JUUL lawsuits have also been filed on behalf of school districts and public entities across the country, which seek to protect students and recover resources spent fighting the vaping epidemic. If you have a potential claim or need more information on JUUL, contact any the lawyers on the team.