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Teenagers and young adults are particularly vulnerable to the addictive risks of nicotine based e-cigarettes, vape pens, or vapes. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development which continues into the mid-20s.

The leader in the e-cigarette market is Juul. Juul is a silicon valley startup which came on to the market in 2015. Early ad campaigns targeted young adults and depicted models in their early 20’s having fun, relaxing, and traveling. Some of Juul’s marketing strategy took cues from big tobacco. Early ads looked very similar to Marlboro’s. Juul launched the product by giving out product for free at movies and music events with the goal of having these influencers popularize Juuls amongst friends. Juul’s design is discreet, sleek and modern. It looks like a usb or a cool piece of technology. Users can select from a variety of flavors such as mango, crème brulee, strawberry lemonade, and tobacco. What Juul did different from big tobacco, was capitalize on social media – and social media is where middle school and high school kids spend a significant amount of time.

After media scrutiny and the FDA took notice of the growing Juul trend, Juul’s advertising became more conservative. It was not until More recent marketing campaigns attempt to make the argument that Juul is a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes and advocate that adult smokers should “Make The Switch.”

On October 17, 2019, Juul suspended sales of most of its flavored products in advance of what appeared to be a federal ban. Mint and menthol flavors remained on the market. Juul also agreed to not advertise at events that allow people under the age of 21, which is only applicable in California.

Key facts and statistics:

  • 25% of high school students admit to vaping or having vaped in the last 30 days. This doubled since 2017. Fewer than 5% of adults are using e-cigarettes.
  • One study showed that 2 out of 3 Juul users aged 15-24 did not know that Juul always contains nicotine
  • 1 Juul pod (approximately 200 puffs) = the nicotine of a pack of at least 20 cigarettes
  • Juul is the top selling e-cigarette brand in the United States
  • The Juul hit is smooth and the head rush or “buzz” may be more intense than a cigarette for first time users. The nicotine salts in Juul vape juice are a type of nicotine that supposedly feels more like a cigarette when inhaled, as opposed to other vapes that use freebase nicotine. Freebase nicotine, which can cause coughing and leave a film in people’s throats, is harsher and commonly found in cigarettes.
  • Because of the smooth hit, enjoyable flavors, and the ability to Juul inside, users can consume significantly more than traditional cigarettes
  • Quitting Juul may be harder than quitting cigarettes

Types of injuries:

  • Lung damage
  • Increased risk for heart disease, such as heart attack, artery narrowing, high blood pressure, seizures
  • Device explosion
  • Using nicotine in adolescence may also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs
  • Using nicotine in adolescence can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control
  • Each time a new memory is created or a new skill is learned, stronger connections – or synapses – are built between brain cells.
  • Young people’s brains build synapses faster than adult brains. Nicotine changes the way these synapses are formed.

If you or a loved one is under the age of 21, began “Juuling” between the years of 2015 and the fall of 2018, and have suffered lung damage, disease, or other injury, you may be entitled to compensation

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