It has been said that the devil likes to hide behind a cross. Marketed as being born out of an altruistic motive to help switch people off of cigarettes, JUUL Lab’s has found itself under fire for some of its marketing claims; namely that “Juuling” is safer than smoking cigarettes. In a warning letter authored by the FDA, however, it was stated that there has been no scientific evidence substantiating Juul’s claims that their modern twist on the cigarette is any safer to use than the traditional cancer sticks.
Carcinogens Aren’t the Only Issue
Juul’s position is that unlike Juul pods, cigarettes are loaded with carcinogens and that is why they are so dangerous – not the nicotine. While it may be true that there are many known carcinogens packed into cigarettes, it is also known that nicotine, especially at dosages contained in Juul pods, carries with it its own health risks that aside from addiction, include:
- Birth defects
- Nicotine poisoning
- Respiratory failure
- Cardiovascular problems/disease
While the list above is not exhaustive, it is important to note that those health complications stem from exposure to high doses of nicotine alone.
In addition to high doses of nicotine, flavored Juul pods contain chemical flavor additives that pose health risks of their own. Although the list of flavor additives in the flavor pods is currently unknown, what is known, according to the American Lung Association, is that the chemical Diacetyl (found in flavored Juul pods), causes a condition known as B.O. or Bronchiolitis Obliterans when inhaled. Likened to COPD, B.O. is characterized as the scarring of the tiny air sacs in the lungs that results in the thickening and narrowing of the airways and is a serious lung disease.
Today’s Joe the Camel
In addition to the claim that Juuling is safer than smoking cigarettes, Juul Lab’s is also under fire for its marketing practices geared toward America’s youth. By all accounts, Juul Lab’s aggressive campaign (modernized for the younger generation) followed in the footsteps of its cigarette brethren created by “Big Tobacco” decades ago.
Juul has hosted “sampling parties” for youth at festivals, advertised in magazines popular amongst teens and young adults featuring models in their twenties against attractive backdrops and upscale settings and built a social media following via influencer marketing and celebrity endorsement that made Juuling/smoking look “cool” to a whole new generation.
Additionally, American youth love candy-flavored products – a fact that big tobacco has known for a long time. This is why flavored cigarettes (with the exception of menthol) have been outlawed since 2009. Of course, none of this should come as a surprise when taking into account that Altria-Philip Morris purchased 35% of Juul Lab’s stock in 2018. What we are witnessing is quite literally the second coming of big tobacco in disguise.
Where Does the Buck Stop?
What other harms await Juulers down the road? Only time will tell. The FDA pushed back the deadline for e-cigarette manufacturers to meet federal guidelines to 2022. It won’t be until then that Americans discover what chemical cocktails they have been vaping into their lungs and what additional adverse health consequences may lie in wait down the road.
The law offices of McCoy, Hiestand & Smith, PLC, are currently investigating claims against Juul Labs, Inc. If you or someone you know has developed Bronchiolitis Obliterans or similar respiratory injury and suspect it was caused by vaping Juul pods, please give us a call at (800) 254-4444.