The complaint for this class action alleges that a Juul “packs a more powerful nicotine punch than traditional cigarettes because JUUL contains roughly twice the nicotine concentration as cigarettes and other vape pens.” It alleges that Juul Labs, Inc., the maker of the e-cigarettes, knew that it posed risks for users, but “continued to disseminate false, misleading and deceitful information” about its products and vaping. Juul, it says, “created an online culture and community targeted to young people, including minors, and designed to encourage JUUL use.”
The class for this action is purchasers and users of Juul products in Kentucky.
Plaintiff John McFaull began using tobacco by “dipping” chewing tobacco. Eventually he “was interested in reducing his nicotine intake,” the complaint says, and saw advertising for Juul. He was not aware of the amount of nicotine they contained and eventually began using Juul pods in February 2018. Since that time, the complaint says, he “has consistently and constantly consumed at least one JUUL pod each day…”
Before he began using the products, the complaint claims, he “was not aware of the actual amount or potency of nicotine that JUUL products would deliver into his body, or that other toxins were added to the product in its development to maximize the effects on him of the nicotine it contained.” He has now become addicted to the nicotine salts in the products. According to the complaint, Juul products are actually more addictive than smoking cigarettes.
The complaint says, “Although marketed as a safer alternative to smoking,  JUUL e-cigarettes and JUUL pods still deliver dangerous toxins and carcinogens to teenage users. Nicotine itself is a carcinogen, as well as a toxic chemical associated with cardiovascular, reproductive, and immunosuppressive problems.” Also, “[b]ecause vaping still introduces foreign substances into the lungs, prolonged use of vaping products is likely to produce chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, just like traditional cigarette smoke.” It also has worse effects on teens, the complaint alleges.
Although Juul has recently added warnings to its products, the complaint calls them “too little, too late, and … completely insufficient to warn” users of the dangers of the product.
Also, the complaint alleges that Juul’s marketing efforts have been directed at minors, via social media platforms. Also, teenagers tend to share information on these sites. The complaint reports that there are approximately 560,000 posts on Instagram using the #juul hashtag. It claims that the marketing campaigns, themes, flavors, and so on appeal to a younger audience, to the point where the Food and Drug Administration is investigating the company’s marketing to youth.
The complaint claims violations of the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act and fraud, among other things.