JUUL E-Cigarettes Popcorn Lung Litigation

JUUL Popcorn Lung Lawsuit

JUUL’s e-cigarettes were advertised as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, but studies indicate that may not be true. With the omission of critical health warnings and questions about whether their marketing was designed to target adolescents, cases against JUUL Labs have been filed in multiple states across the USA.

Settlements have already been reached with the Attorneys General in New York, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Mexico, with awards surpassing $450 million.

If you or a loved one has used JUUL products or were exposed to the dangerous vapors contained in JUUL’s electronic cigarettes, you may be eligible to participate in a popcorn lung lawsuit.

Source: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Photograph by Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images.

What are the JUUL lawsuits about?

JUUL Labs introduced their popular electronic inhalation products, commonly known as e-cigarettes or vapes, in 2015. By 2022, over 2.5 million middle and high school students were using them, and the company had an estimated value of $38 billion. The evidence suggests that JUUL targeted minors in its marketing campaigns including launch parties at fun venues, an active social media presence, student discounts at local gas stations, giveaways and free samples, even hip celebrity brand ambassadors and influencers.

Some advertisements and marketing materials contained false claims about nicotine content, addiction risks, and safety compared to cigarettes, leaving users unaware of the dangers of bronchiolitis obliterans, obliterative bronchiolitis, diacetyl-induced bronchiolitis obliterans, or popcorn lung. By concealing critical health information, Americans were denied the ability to make an informed decision about whether to use this product or not.

Digital and print ads published by JUUL as part of their “Get Vaporized” campaign. Photograph by JUUL.

Is using or being exposed to JUUL vape products safe?

While JUUL has made the claim that “Juuling” is a relatively safe alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes and other tobacco products, studies have found evidence to suggest otherwise.  JUUL’s pod aerosols, vapes, and electronic cigarettes, have been known to cause injuries to the lung tissue, as well as lung disease.

This lung tissue damage and inflammation puts users at higher risk of medical conditions, specifically respiratory illness, like popcorn lung.

What is popcorn lung?

Popcorn lung is an uncommon type of lung disease, officially called bronchiolitis obliterans. It is caused by a buildup of scar tissue in the lungs which blocks the flow of air. It is more commonly referred to as “popcorn lung” because it was first widely reported in factory workers that made microwave popcorn. These workers were exposed to harmful chemicals like diacetyl as part of the manufacturing process.

Diacetyl is frequently added to flavored e-liquid or e-juice and used in electronic cigarettes to enhance the taste. For example, buttery flavor found in microwave popcorn or fruity flavor in e-cigarettes. Inhaling this harmful chemical can cause inflammation and may lead to permanent scarring in the smallest branches of the smallest airways. Popcorn lung has no lasting treatment.

According to the American Lung Association, the symptoms of popcorn lung are similar to those experienced by people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Symptoms of popcorn lung may include poor lung condition, shortness of breath, dry cough, wheezing, asthma, fatigue, and skin rash.

What causes popcorn lung?

Exposure to harmful chemicals, vaping or using e-cigarettes, or exposure to any of the following chemicals has been known to cause popcorn lung:

  • Acetaldehyde
  • Ammonia
  • Chlorine
  • Diacetyl
  • Formaldehyde
  • Fumes from metal oxides
  • Hydrochloric Acid
  • Mustard gas or sulfur mustard
  • Nitrogen oxide
  • Sulfur dioxide

Research related to popcorn lung and other damages from this dangerous product is ongoing, however there is currently evidence that use or exposure to any of the following environments may also pose a risk:

  • Electronic cigarette plants
  • Bakeries
  • Coffee roasting plants
  • Animal feed plants
  • Candy factories
  • Flavoring manufacturing plants
  • Plants manufacturing common foods such as microwave popcorn

Can I get money from the JUUL settlement?

While a global settlement for personal injury cases filed to date is already underway, you may still be entitled to financial compensation by filing a new claim.

Do I qualify for compensation from JUUL?

If you used or were exposed to JUUL products and have developed any of the following physical injuries, you may be eligible for financial compensation.

  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Lung issues
  • Bronchiolitis obliterans (popcorn lung)
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Asthma
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry cough
  • Chest tightness
  • Addiction
  • Nicotine poisoning
  • Seizures in the case of no prior epilepsy/seizure

Can I sue JUUL for addiction?

If you have suffered a physical injury like popcorn lung as a result of your use or exposure to a JUUL product, you may be able to bring a case against JUUL.

In addition to popcorn lung, addiction-related injuries like depression, anxiety, mental health concerns, or addiction and dependency may be eligible for compensation if you also suffered a physical injury like popcorn lung.

Source: Nicotine warning on JUUL e-cigarettes

The nicotine warning on JUUL e-cigarettes. Photograph by Brynn Anderson / Associated Press.

How do I file a claim against JUUL?

You’ll need to find a lawyer that you trust, that has your best interests at heart, and who has the expertise to successfully represent you. Wallace Miller has the time, resources, and experience needed to get the justice you deserve.

Which law firm should I choose to represent me?

Wallace Miller is based in Chicago and is currently accepting clients with injuries caused by products manufactured by Juul Labs in the USA.

Wallace Miller attorneys have a proven track record of protecting the rights of victims of negligence and fraud through consumer protection product liability, employment, environmental and toxic harm, and personal injury litigation. Click here to learn more about Wallace Miller.

Contact Wallace Miller for a free, no-obligation consultation.

August 2023 Update 

Juul Labs is seeking authorization from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to sell a “next-generation” vape that can verify the user’s age. These updated devices, already sold in the UK and Canada as JUUL2, work by pairing with a phone application that requires the user to input their personal information. The updated vapes allegedly also identify specific pods in order to prevent their use by teenagers in what Juul Labs calls “an important harm-reduction opportunity.” The legal age of use for e-cigarettes in the U.S. is 21. 

Per reporting from Reuters, Juul Labs is planning to lay off 30% of its workforce—about 250 people—in order to cut costs. The company is in the process of negotiating lawsuit settlements estimated to amount to millions of dollars.

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