Posted in Drug Injury on October 28, 2020
Have you or your child become addicted to JUUL e-cigarettes prior to turning 18 years of age?
Did this addiction occur before November 2018?
JUUL addiction can cause significant challenges in your life, including the cost associated with the addiction and many of the health problems associated with excessive nicotine use. If you or your child became addicted to JUUL e-cigarettes before turning 18, you may deserve compensation. Contact an experienced JUUL attorney as soon as possible to learn more.
JUUL e-cigarettes, founded in 2015, hit the market as a replacement for traditional cigarettes. They were initially marketed as healthier than traditional cigarettes: they didn’t require inhaling burning materials, and so might reduce some of the impact associated with long-term cigarette use. Their place in the market should have included replacing traditional cigarette use.
The average JUUL pod, however, contains approximately as much as a standard pack of cigarettes, and users can go through JUUL pods much more quickly, especially if they do not pay attention to their use. JUUL e-cigarettes also offer a number of hazards that users might not expect.
Nicotine use in kids and teens carries dangers greater than nicotine use in adults. Some of the challenges include:
In kids and teens, nicotine use, rather than decreasing nerves, may actually blunt emotional control. Users may have trouble blunting their tempers or controlling their responses to peers, teachers, or parents.
Teens naturally lack the decision-making skills adults have, since their brains do not fully develop until adulthood. Nicotine use can further decrease those decision-making skills and make it more difficult for teens to manage those critical decisions.
Teens who use nicotine may struggle with impulse control and preventing themselves from taking part in activities they should not. This may include errors like reckless driving or picking fights in school, especially when combined with poor emotional regulation.
Nicotine use actually changes the way the brain builds synapses during learning. Not only does it cause short-term complications, including a potential drop in grades, it could cause teens to struggle to access that learning or change the way they learn later in life.
Nicotine addiction in adolescence can not only cause all the symptoms associated with addiction, including irritability, it can also increase the odds that a child will experiment with harder drugs later in life. Nicotine can serve as a gateway to those drugs, especially if children and teens try to use it to self-medicate for anxiety or other symptoms. In addition, breaking the nicotine addiction can cause a great deal of pain in adults, much less children and teens. Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal may include:
Breaking the nicotine habit can prove incredibly difficult, especially without help. During the withdrawal period, kids and teens may find it more difficult to participate in family activities or to engage with schoolwork. They may feel a disconnect from friends and loved ones.
The brain keeps developing until around the age of 25. Unfortunately, nicotine use can interfere with overall brain development and actually harm the developing adolescent brain.
When inhaled, the diacetyl contained in many e-cigarettes can cause scarring of the small sacs in the lungs. This scarring, which is often called “popcorn lung,” can lead to long-term shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and narrowing of the airways.
In addition to traditional flavors, including tobacco and mint, JUUL also includes a line of fruit flavors that appeal heavily to child and adolescent taste buds.
Prior to November 2018, JUUL marketed those flavors heavily to kids and teens. According to the FDA, more than 3.5 million kids and teens used an e-cigarette in 2018 alone. In addition to selling fruity, often sweet flavors that appeal to a younger audience, JUUL chose to market those flavors on platforms frequented by teens. JUUL even actively told teens in high school classrooms that JUUL was “totally safe,” a claim that clearly encourages adolescents to check out the product and see what it can offer them.
According to the CDC, in spite of the fact that around 99% of e-cigarettes contain nicotine, 2/3 of JUUL users between the ages of 15 and 24 do not know that e-cigarettes always have nicotine in them. E-cigarette labels may not include the fact that they contain nicotine. Worse, during testing, scientists found that even some e-cigarettes that claim not to contain nicotine do, in fact, have some nicotine content, which can lead to addiction and the associated impacts on developing child and adolescent brains.
In addition to its aggressive marketing plan, JUUL failed to adequately label and inform users about the risks associated with e-cigarette use. As such, kids and teens who used the products may have had little to no idea, not only of the nicotine content of those cartridges, but of the potential hazards associated with e-cigarette use. Prior to the arrival of e-cigarettes on the market, adolescent smoking had reached an all-time low. JUUL, however, catapulted nicotine addiction back to higher levels than it had seen in years.
If you or your child have faced the consequences of nicotine addiction as a child or adolescent, or suffered serious health consequences due to JUUL use prior to the age of 18, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim that will help you recover funds that you can use for medical treatment of those conditions. At The Law Office of John W. Redmann, LLC, we aim to help adolescent JUUL users and their families legally seek the damages they deserve. Contact us today at 504-500-5000 for a free consultation that will help you better understand your legal rights following JUUL use.