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Big Tobacco Companies Named in E-Cigarettes Lawsuit

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

In April of 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began investigating an increase in seizures with adolescents and young adults who were using e-cigarettes. Some victims of this medical issue had already filed lawsuits with a nurse attorney or a product liability attorney to claim that they had been misled about the dangers of e-cigarettes.

JUUL Labs Inc. makes 75% of the product currently sold in the U.S. In December of 2018, Altria-Phillip Morris bought 35% of JUUL labs, and they are also accountable for the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes. Eight smaller companies also produce and sell these tobacco-like products, and all will find themselves in lawsuits.

What is an E-Cigarette?

An Electronic Cigarette also known as an e-cigarette, vape pens, vaporizer cigarettes, or electronic nicotine delivery systems has a rechargeable battery that activates a sensor to emit doses of nicotine for the smoker to inhale. It is similar to the sensation a regular cigarette smoker experiences when they inhale a cigarette made of tobacco.

E-cigarettes were first sold on the market in 2004, and by 2016 millions of people in the world were using them with 3.2% of adults in the U.S. regularly using the device. The original intent for the E-Cigarette was to help people quit smoking, but the results have been insignificant.

Unfortunately, the idea of “Vaping” has become the most popular form of tobacco use among teenagers and its use has risen 900% among high school students between 2005 and 2011, which means that over 2 million students between the ages of 18 and 24 years have tried e-cigarettes. Of these young adults, 40% had not been smokers before.

Risks of E-Cigarettes

When the smoker uses an e-cigarette, they activate a heat sensor which vaporizes liquid nicotine that may have a flavor added. This vapor is inhaled and gives the smoker a smoking sensation. However, with the nicotine, there is also the possibility of inhaling other toxic chemicals such as dicetyl which can cause a condition known as “popcorn lung.” This is a severe and irreversible lung disease, and it is the kind of medical disease from “vaping” that can be grounds for a product liability lawsuit and the services of a nurse attorney.

It has been found that teens who start smoking e-cigarettes are very likely to take up regular smoking once they become accustomed to the intake of nicotine. Nicotine itself is known to damage the adolescent brain, and it is also proven to be harmful during pregnancy.

Reasons for Lawsuits

The State of Illinois, on August 27, 2019, filed a lawsuit against JUUL Labs Inc., and Phillip Morris Inc., on behalf of a young adult who became seriously ill after smoking an e-cigarette. The JUUL design for the e-cigarette makes it very attractive to younger adults, and the manufacturers claim that “juuling” is much safer than smoking tobacco.

In North Carolina, the state is suing 8 manufacturers of e-cigarettes claiming that the manufacturers enhance the smoking experience with flavors like cotton candy, gummy bear, unicorn, and graham cracker to appeal to the younger smoker. The lawsuit wants to prevent the sale of any e-cigarettes to young adults and to limit the flavors of these devices to menthol and nicotine. They see the risk as too great for the young population of the state, and they plan to prove that the sale targets the younger population.

Michigan Bans the Sale of Flavored E-cigarettes

On September 4, 2019 Michigan became the first state to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer stated that her number one priority is keeping kids safe and protecting the health of Michigan citizens.

Final Thoughts

E-cigarettes have come under a great deal of scrutiny recently because of the threats they pose due to the toxic chemicals that can be inhaled by the smoker and the fact that tobacco companies seem to be targeting young adults.

At the Law Firm of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. we are in the cutting edge of these developments, and if you think you or a member of your family has a medical condition due to smoking e-cigarettes, we can help you. Contact us at or call 866-MICH-LAW for a free consultation. We never charge a fee unless we win your case.

Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

Tristan is a professional writer and had careers as a teacher of English, school administrator, and as a broker in real estate sales. He has gained a great deal of legal experience through his service as the president of a teacher's union, a member of the board for a real estate association, and as the chairman of the Government Affairs Committee for the real estate board of directors. Before beginning a full-time job as a freelance writer, he was the Executive Director of the Global Business Alliance for a local Chamber of Commerce and sat on the Government Affairs Committee for the Chamber.



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