In response to the raid, now deposed Juul CEO Kevin Burns commented: “We are committed to preventing underage use, and we want to engage with FDA, lawmakers, public health advocates and others to keep JUUL out of the hands of young people. The meetings last week with FDA gave us the opportunity to provide information about our business from our marketing practices to our industry-leading online age-verification protocols to our youth prevention efforts. It was a constructive and transparent dialogue.”
Even if the FDA believed Burns, it was more interested in cresting the wave of public opinion that, thanks to the media coverage, was becoming virulently anti-Juul and anti-vaping. Following Juul voluntarily withdrawing half of its flavours, it was as if not even Burns or Juul believed what they were saying.
All of this fed into a full-blown FDA enquiry, the results of which have just been published.
The FDA says that Juul had around 2,600 complaints about health problems resulting from the use of its pod system. The barely believable complaints included:
- Lung burning sensation
- Blistered lips
- Numb lips
- Tingling lips
- Light headedness, and for one person
- Bleeding throat
“I tried to utilize the starter packs pods and the fruit flavour was so harsh that it made me cough to the point where my throat started to bleed. I am not exaggerating,” said the woman, according to the FDA. The report doesn’t detail whether or not she placed the pod into a blender and swallowed the aftermath.
A Juul spokesman commented: “We take product safety very seriously and implement stringent quality control measures to ensure the safety of all our products.” This may be true, but 156,000 complaints resulted from faulty devices leaking high nicotine liquid directly into the mouth of the user.
The issues, combined with Juul’s growing notoriety, prompted a flood of ambulance chasing lawyers to hunt out people willing to join in litigation against the vape giant. TorHoerman Law LLC typifies the attitude: “Individuals, including teens with no previous smoking experiences, that were led to believe that Juul was ‘better than smoking’ or ‘a safer alternative to smoking’ are finding themselves addicted to Juul and are now suffering serious health issues. Individuals who are fighting addiction and life-threatening health effects associated with Juul are currently hiring a Juul lawyer to file a Juul lawsuit in order to receive compensation for the damages that they have incurred as a result of Juul’s negligence and false marketing.”
“The manufacturer failed to warn about Juul dangers, and now thousands of youth, adults, and individuals trying to quit smoking are suffering the consequences for Juul’s actions. If you have suffered an injury because of Juul, you may be eligible to participate in a Juul lawsuit or e-cigarette lawsuit. The Juul case will hold Juul accountable for their actions and for the youth vaping epidemic that they have created.”
Lawyers are leaping on politicians’ announcements and the fake science flourishing in shoddy university research departments. They are claiming these are genuine issues:
- Severe addiction
- Cardiovascular disease
- Heart attack or heart problems
- Lung or respiratory failure
- Mental health or behaviour issues
- Nicotine poisoning
- Pregnancy complication or birth defects
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Other complications
The likes of Stanton Glantz don’t have to hold out for their pseudoscience to influence legislators when firms could be driven into the ground financially by spurious lawsuits. It’s not just individuals looking for a quick buck. San Diego Unified School District is just one institution currently attacking the vape firm through the courts.
San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten has commented: “Our district is in the business of educating students in a healthy and safe environment. This lawsuit supports district goals by holding Juul accountable for its harmful marketing practices and unsafe products.” The school district holds Juul responsible for causing student absences “due to vaping-related illnesses” and is seeking compensation for lost revenue as a result.
Regardless of the other attacks on vaping and harm reduction, it is clear that American society sees Juul as a cash rich pie and they all want a free slice.