INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - An Indiana family is suing
Juul Labs Inc., accusing it of making electronic cigarettes that contain
excessively high levels of nicotine without warning that they’re addictive.
family of Carmel filed the lawsuit Aug. 20 in U.S. District Court in
Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported. The lawsuit
alleges that Juul did not include nicotine warnings on its devices, pods and
said his 17-year-old son has been vaping Juul e-cigarettes since 2015 and
that he’s addicted. When he tried to quit, the teenager suffered severe
headaches and other withdrawal symptoms. The Juul products “altered his
brain physically and chemically and ... put him at risk for a lifetime of
lifelong health problems, to say nothing of the economic costs of nicotine
addiction,” the lawsuit says.
e-cigarette contains three times more nicotine than is needed to satisfy the
nicotine cravings of an adult smoker, the lawsuit states.
Vaping is blamed
for a mysterious respiratory illness that has sickened about 200 people in
the U.S. and claimed at least one life.
Juul said its products are a “viable alternative” for the 1 billion adult
cigarette smokers around the world.
"We have never
marketed to youth and do not want any non-nicotine users to try our
products,” the company said. “Last year, we launched an aggressive action
plan to combat underage use as it is antithetical to our mission.”
The lawsuit is
without merit, Juul officials said.
family is seeking unspecified financial damages. Pax Labs Inc., the parent
company of Juul until 2017, is also named as a defendant. Pax Labs did not
respond to an email from the Associated Press seeking comment.
Juul already faces
numerous lawsuits and has long been accused of targeting teenagers with
candy-flavored products. Juul’s e-cigarettes come in several flavors,
including mint, menthol, mango, fruit, creme and cucumber.
In December, U.S.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams said parents, teachers, health specialists and
government officials must take “aggressive steps” to prevent children from
using e-cigarettes, adding that they are addictive and can have harmful
health effects. He also noted that each Juul cartridge, or pod, contains as
much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes, and that the company’s liquid
nicotine mixture is particularly created to provide a smoother, more potent
A chief official
with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration called for measures last fall to
stop the advertising of e-cigarettes directly to minors.