JUUL Vaping Devices

Beasley Allen lawyers filed JUUL lawsuits for clients suffering from the negative impact the products had on their lives. Beasley Allen also represents school districts and public entities seeking to protect students and recover resources spent fighting the vaping epidemic.

What is a JUUL?

JUUL vaping devices splashed onto the market in 2015 with the stated mission of “improving the lives of the one billion adult smokers” on the planet. It claimed its primary mission was to help those already smoking traditional cigarettes and tobacco products to quit smoking. You can read more on the History of Vaping or our JUUL School Lawsuits for more information.

Less than two years later, this latecomer to the already burgeoning vaping market had grown to become a $5-billion vaping empire. The San Francisco-based startup now controls more than three-quarters of the U.S. vaping market.

However, JUUL acquired this lion’s share not by converting adult smokers, but by creating a new generation of nicotine addicts through shrewd and aggressive social media campaigns, a clever and easily disguisable product design, and other business strategies that targeted U.S. teens and children.

JUUL Colors and Pod Flavors

JUUL devices are available in a variety of colors and can even be covered with custom skins that feature school colors and mascots, artwork, photos of animals, cartoons, and even religious figures, to name a few.

JUUL and other vape companies sell JUUL pods in a variety of fruit, candy, and other sweet flavors that appeal to children and teens. Fruit Loops, Strawberry Milk, Pumpkin Donut, Pancake Syrup, and Bubble Gum are some of the hundreds of pod juice flavors available for JUULs.

Critics often point to these “fun” flavors as evidence that JUUL never really intended to target adults as its main consumer base.

The Youth Vaping Epidemic

The impact JUUL has had on U.S. public health is staggering. Recent studies have found that vaping among high school students doubled between 2017 and 2018 – the highest increase in smoking, drinking, and drug use ever recorded in the U.S. The surge in vaping among U.S. middle and high school students correlates directly with JUUL’s appearance on the market and its savvy youth-oriented marketing campaigns.

“Indeed, the ubiquity of this one product became so entrenched so quickly that it gave rise to its own verb – juuling,” U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chief Scott Gottlieb said in a recent speech.

The FDA says the rate of juuling and other vape device use among U.S. youth has become a national epidemic, reversing decades of progress in preventing teen smoking.

Smoking among U.S. high school students has dropped to a record low of 8 percent, but vaping has more than filled that void, creating the largest generation of nicotine addicts since the early 1960s. The total number of middle and high school students using vape devices in 2018 rose to 3.6 million — an increase of 1.5 million students vaping compared to the previous year.

Dr. Gottlieb said that JUUL and the vaping industry at large could face harsh regulatory actions amounting to “an existential threat” if 2019 data shows that youth vaping continues to rise.

Did JUUL market to minors?

A team of Stanford University researchers that study the impact of tobacco advertising conducted a comprehensive analysis of the marketing techniques JUUL used right out of the gate all the way through 2018. They concluded that JUUL’s marketing “was patently youth-oriented,” especially in the first six months and becoming more “muted” but still effective in youth markets thereafter.

JUUL aggressively exploited social media channels – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – where U.S. school children and teens spend much of their time, to push its vaping products. The company paid social media influencers – accounts with large followings – to promote JUULs. It also created scores of JUUL-related hashtags that were included on images and videos of young people hanging out, having fun, and vaping.

As Vox notes, even as JUUL’s advertising started to shift in 2016, becoming arguably a little more mature, adults were still notably absent from all of the company’s advertising.

What chemicals are in JUUL pods?

The liquid inside JUUL cartridges contains glycerol, propylene glycol, flavoring, benzoic acid, and 40 milligrams of nicotine.

Medical professionals are very concerned because JUUL delivers higher concentrations of nicotine than other vaping devices. According to a study published in The Lancet, the liquid in JUUL is 5% nicotine by volume, which is more than twice the concentration of nicotine in similar devices like the Blu vape cartridge (2.4% nicotine). This increases the risk of addiction; in fact, a study done by the UK’s Royal College of Psychiatrists showed that nicotine is about as addictive as cocaine and even more addictive than alcohol and barbiturates (anti-anxiety drugs).


Not only is nicotine highly addictive, but numerous scientific studies show it is also toxic to fetuses and is known to impair brain and lung development if used during adolescence. Among the negative health effects to fetuses and adolescents are:

  • It is well-understood that nicotine can affect multiple organs in a developing fetus, potentially with life-long consequences. [01]
  • Nicotine is genotoxic and its toxic effects continue to manifest in a fetus even after exposure has been discontinued. [02]
  • Prenatal nicotine exposure can result in adverse effects on a developing fetus, which can include disruptions in the normal development of the endocrine, reproductive, respiratory, cardiovascular and neurologic systems. Most adverse effects will persist throughout the child’s life and are irreversible. [03]
  • Nicotine is a neuroteratogen and “compromises the development of critical neural pathways in the developing brain.” [06]
  • Some of the neonatal and childhood complications associated with nicotine exposure include low birth weight, SIDS, Asthma, decrease pulmonary function, increased risk of respiratory illness, upper respiratory illness, increased incidence of hypertension, increased risk of postnatal obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus, renal dysfunction, smaller head circumference, cognitive and affective disorders, attention deficit disorder, and behavior problems. [03][04][05][06][07][08]
  • Prenatal exposure to nicotine also “primes the adolescent brain for depression and for nicotine addiction in future years.” [04]
  • Exposure to nicotine in utero has been linked to several neurodevelopmental and behavioral effects including “poorer academic outcomes, deficits in learning, memory reading, language development, global intelligence, and scholastic achievement.” [03]

Nicotine also interacts with any cancer cells present in the body in a way that makes cancers worse, according to Stanton Glantz, Ph.D., Director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control and Education. Nicotine also stimulates the nervous system and cardiovascular system, which leads to heart disease. Kids who use nicotine have more asthma and more days off school. There’s also evidence linking vaping with chronic pulmonary obstructive disease and other permanent damage.

“Other bad things” than Tobacco

While other brands use a chemically modified form called “freebase nicotine,” JUULs use “nicotine salts” that more closely resemble the natural structure of nicotine found in tobacco leaves. This makes the nicotine more readily absorbed into the bloodstream and makes the vapor less harsh so that it is easier to inhale more nicotine for longer periods of time.

Dr. Glantz told CNBC that although JUUL and other vape products “don’t have a lot of the bad things in tobacco, they have other bad things in them.”

In addition to the five main vape liquid ingredients, 42 additional chemicals have been identified in the vapor, several of which are known carcinogens.

JUUL pods contain a greater amount of benzoic acid, 44.8 mg/mL, compared to other vaping brands, which are in the range of 0.2 to 2 mg/mL. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), benzoic acid is known to cause coughs, sore throat, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting if exposure is constant, which is the case when using a JUUL. This is due to how JUULs utilize the properties of benzoic acid to increase the potency of the nicotine salts in its vape liquid.

JUUL and Vape Related Injuries

E-cigarette and Vaping Associated Lung Injuries (EVALI)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating an outbreak of severe respiratory illness affecting people who recently used vaping products like JUUL. As of Oct. 10, 2019, more than 1,000 people in 48 states and one U.S. territory have been affected by EVALI, and at least 23 of those sickened have died.

Among 889 patients with data on age and sex, the median age of those who developed the lung injury were between the ages of 13 and 75, with 81% being younger than 35. Sixteen percent of patients were younger than 18, and 21% are between the ages of 18 and 21.

No vaping product or ingredient has been identified as the culprit, but many of those who developed the lung injury reported having used e-liquids containing THC, the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. However, physicians report some people with the lung illness have only vaped products containing nicotine. They say it is too early to tell what is causing the illnesses.

The CDC is recommending that consumers “consider refraining from using e-cigarettes, or vaping products, particularly those containing THC.”

Symptoms of vape-related lung injury include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain

Some patients reported that their symptoms developed over a few days, while others reported that their symptoms developed over several weeks. A lung infection does not appear to be causing the symptoms, the CDC said.

Those who are concerned about their health after using JUUL or another vaping device should contact their health care provider, or call their local poison control center at 800-222-1222.

Seizure risk

The FDA started notifying the public in April 2019 that some people, “especially youth and young adults” are reporting seizures following vape device use. Seizures or convulsions are known potential side effects of nicotine poisoning and have been reported in medical journals, but in association with the accidental swallowing of nicotine vape liquids, such as when toddlers get hold of a vape pod.

According to the FDA, the 35 reports it has received of vape device-related seizures have occurred after vaping. The agency says that’s enough to warrant, noting that the reports may not represent all the cases that occur.

report one parent submitted to the FDA states:

“After inhaling on a JUUL device, of which I was unaware he was using, my teenage son preceded to have a grand mal seizure … I heard him crash to the floor in the room above me. I reached him as he was fully seizing, convulsions, turning blue, eyes rolled up in his head. He was unconscious once the convulsions stopped, about a minute after they probably started. He does not remember anything until starting to come to in the ambulance. Paramedics found the JUUL device underneath him and when I asked him about it at the hospital, he admitted using it right before the seizure. This is a perfectly healthy teenager with no underlying issues.”

Electronic Cigarette Explosions and Fires

The shape and construction of electronic cigarettes can make them behave like “flaming rockets” when the lithium-ion battery fails, and can contribute to the type of injury. Many explosions related to e-cigarettes are also caused by spare batteries loosely stored in a pocket or purse.

Other factors contributing to the type and severity of e-cigarette explosion injuries are whether the device was in a pocket or actively being used at the time, such as in the person’s hand or mouth.

The Tobacco Control study found that e-cigarette burn injury patients were primarily young white males with a median age of 26.

Most e-cigarette injuries serious enough to require hospitalization are second- and third-degree burns to the legs and thigh and genitals. Hands and fingers were the second most-affected parts of the body, with 26 percent of the burn injuries occurring there.

Many e-cigarette explosions have caused severe head and facial trauma. In addition to thermal burns and lacerations caused by shrapnel, facial injuries include loss of eyes, teeth and tongue.

In a study published in the Journal of Burn Care and Research, researchers recommended monitoring victims of e-cigarette explosion for chemical and metal toxicity caused by exposure to elements of the lithium-ion battery. The study authors said patients with e-cigarette blast burns should be checked for elevated levels of lithium, cobalt and manganese, and treated accordingly.

Electronic Cigarette Deaths

There have been at least two deaths caused by exploding e-cigarettes in the U.S. In May 2018, 38-year-old Tallmadge D’Elia of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, suffered “multiple injuries to his face,” including a “projectile wound of the head” that medical examiners said caused his death. An autopsy found two fragments of the e-cigarette lodged in his brain. Mr. D’Elia also suffered burns on about 80 percent of his body.

In February 2019, 24-year-old William Brown of Fort Worth, Texas, didn’t even make it out of the vape shop parking lot when his newly purchased e-cigarette exploded in his face. Mr. William staggered out of his car after the blast and was rushed to the hospital where he died shortly after. Medical examiners found fragments of the e-cigarette had penetrated his skull, brain and neck, and severed his carotid artery.

Can I file a JUUL lawsuit?

Beasley Allen lawyers Joseph VanZandtSydney Everett and Andy Birchfield are currently representing a number of individuals from Alabama, California, Florida, and Georgia in JUUL vaping lawsuits suing JUUL for the negative impact its products have had on their lives. Most of the plaintiffs became addicted to JUUL as minors and some of them have started smoking regular cigarettes to satisfy their nicotine addiction when JUUL pods aren’t accessible.

These lawsuits allege that JUUL developed a vaping device that specifically targeted children and teens.

Among the allegations:

Less than five years later, JUUL’s strategies have created a national epidemic of youth vaping and nicotine addiction.

The effects experienced by plaintiffs in the Beasley Allen JUUL lawsuits vary from person to person. Some of the plaintiffs complain of:

  • withdrawal symptoms
  • headaches
  • irritability
  • mood swings
  • aggressive behavior
  • lack of concentration associated with nicotine addiction and withdrawal

These symptoms adversely affect performance in school and work. One plaintiff who started JUULing when he turned 18 says his addiction has caused him to become concerned for his heart and breathing and he has also developed anxiety and panic attacks.

School Districts’ JUUL Lawsuits

On Oct. 7, 2019, Beasley Allen attorneys and co-counsel filed JUUL lawsuits on behalf of school districts in Kansas, Missouri, and New York. These lawsuits accused JUUL Labs of using deceptive marketing strategies that targeted youth, endangering them with nicotine-containing e-liquids.

This also led school officials to divert time, money and resources from education in order to stop students from vaping and provide services when they become addicted. The lawsuits are believed to be the first in the United States brought by U.S. school districts that aim to hold JUUL accountable for the youth vaping epidemic.

Since that time, many more school districts and public entities nationwide have joined the fight against vape manufacturers on behalf of their students.

Recognizing the critical threat to young people ensnared by nicotine addiction, and its effect on our nation’s educational system, in June 2020 our firm joined other nationally recognized law firms in a combined effort to represent school districts and public entities in the fight to stop the school vaping crisis.

These lawsuits accuse JUUL Labs of using deceptive marketing strategies that targeted youth, endangering them with nicotine-containing e-liquids, and leaving school officials to deal with the costs – in money, time, and resources – incurred by students who have become addicted to JUUL. Those who were first to file illustrate the types of complaints schools, school districts and administrators are bringing against the vape industry.

Beasley Allen continues to investigate similar cases against JUUL as well as cases involving nicotine poisoning, seizures, and strokes associated with JUUL pods. If you have these types of cases, and are considering filing a JUUL lawsuit we would like to work with you. Contact us for a no-risk, free consultation.

Recent Lawsuits Filed:



Contact a JUUL Lawyer

One of the only places to hold big companies like JUUL accountable for targeting the health and safety of our children is in the courtroom. If you or a loved one has suffered from injuries, health problems or nicotine addiction caused by JUUL’s vape products, or from any other electronic cigarette product, you may have a claim. Contact one our personal injury and product liability attorneys today for a free consultation about filing a JUUL lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve.

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