Juul – manufactured by Juul Labs – is the popular USB-shaped smoking device that has recently captivated the e-cigarette market. Its sleek concealable shape and an array of flavors make it the favored choice for both adult and teen smokers. But contrary to Juul Labs’ claims that “Juuling” is a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes, recent studies have found that Juul and other e-cigarettes actually expose users to a number of dangerous health risks commonly associated with cigarettes. Researchers have also found links to risks not commonly associated with traditional cigarettes, such as e-cigarette users’ higher likelihood of developing bronchiolitis obliterans (more commonly referred to as “popcorn lung“). While research into Juul is still in its early stages, experts are already warning personal injury law firms, such as TorHoerman Law, to be prepared for a future massive influx of e-cigarette lawsuits. With the continued rise in Juul’s popularity, paralleled by continued research illustrating Juul’s health risks, a Juul lawsuit is an unfortunate likelihood.
If you use Juul or any other form of e-cigarettes, we urge you to read the following information as well as conduct your own research on Juul dangers before you continue using these products.
In addition, if you find that you are now addicted to Juul, consider joining other individuals in fighting back against the company that should have warned you and file a Juul lawsuit.
E-Cigarettes & Juul’s Rising Popularity
E-cigarettes have become extremely popular just in recent years, with e-cigarette use increasing 10-fold between 2011 and 2016. Juul currently holds more than 50% of shares in the e-cigarette market – a major market that is expected to be worth $86.43 billion by 2025 – making it by far the most popular e-cigarette available to consumers, with futures expected to reach $43+ billion.
Is Juul Bad For You?
There are a number of factors that can be attributed to Juul’s ability to break through the flooded e-cigarette market and establish itself as the leading brand for e-cigarettes, but the largest contributing factor is Juul Labs’ successful ‘healthy alternative’ advertising campaign.
Through the campaign, Juul Labs advertises its staple product as a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes, and an effective way to quit smoking. But, according to a study published in the American Journal of Physiology, the chemical flavorings and additives in e-cigarettes can potentially cause more damage to the lungs than the damage caused by conventional cigarettes.
Not only that, but the concentration of nicotine in each Juul pod is also a major cause for concern – it is one of the issues being fought in the Juul lawsuit.
How Much Nicotine is in a Juul / How Much Nicotine is in E-Cigarettes?
Juul and e-cigarettes put users at risk of developing injuries associated with nicotine use. Because, although some users are unaware, Juul pods do actually contain high quantities of nicotine. In general, e-cigarettes contain a lower dose of nicotine, ranging from 6 to 30 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter of liquid. Juul contains a much higher concentration of nicotine: 59 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter of liquid.
In fact, according to Juul Labs, one Juul pod contains about the same amount of nicotine as one pack of cigarettes. Experts argue that a Juul pod actually contains more nicotine than a pack of cigarettes because some of the nicotine in cigarettes is lost to filtration, whereas the nicotine released in a Juul pod is unadulterated by filtration – Juuls don’t have filters. This high dose of nicotine puts users at risk of both nicotine-related injuries and nicotine addiction.
Although Juul is advertised as both a safe alternative to cigarettes and an effective way to quit smoking, neither of these claims are actually supported by fact.
There is no evidence to support the claim that Juul is a reliable tool for quitting smoking – on the contrary, Juul contains as much, if not more nicotine than cigarettes. Because nicotine is the substance responsible for giving cigarettes their addictive nature, there is no reason to believe that Juul will help alleviate addiction. Some other e-cigarette brands offering lower mg/ml of nicotine may be more beneficial in lowering nicotine dependence.
Study Shows JUUL Nicotine Concentrations Cytotoxic
A research study has revealed that high levels of nicotine concentrations found in Juul e-cigarettes are “sufficiently high to be cytotoxic, or toxic to living cells when test in vitro with cultured respiratory system cells.”
Of the hundreds of electronic cigarette products analyzed by the research team, Juul was the only product with high enough nicotine concentrations to be toxic in standard cytotoxicity tests.
Of the eight different flavors manufactured and sold by Juul Labs, the study found differing levels of cytotoxicity. “We found some flavor chemicals, such as ethyl maltol, also correlate with cytotoxicity, but nicotine seems to be the most potent chemical in Juul products, due to it very high concentration,” according to the research team leader Prue Talbot, professor in the Department of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology at the University of California, Riverside.
Although federal regulations limit the sales of Juul products to individuals 21 years and older, Juuling still remains prominent among adolescents, primarily middle-school and high-school-aged youth. James F. Pankow, a professor of chemistry as well as civil and environmental engineering at Portland State University, Oregon and a member of the research team, explained that experts are still unsure of the long-term adverse health effects with chronic Juul use. There is a growing concern amongst experts and the FDA that high doses of nicotine found in Juul products could affect the still-developing adolescent brain, especially when considering the cytotoxic effects Juul products have been found to have.
Are E-Cigarettes Bad For You?
Like Juul, e-cigarette manufacturers often advertise their products as being a safe alternative to cigarettes; free of the many harmful chemicals found in cigarettes. However, what most e-cigarette companies fail to warn consumers of is that their products contain diacetyl: a chemical that, if vaporized, is highly toxic and can have detrimental health effects to those who are exposed to its vapors. The most common injury associated with diacetyl vapor exposure is bronchiolitis obliterans (popcorn lung), a rare condition that damages your lungs small airways, making it difficult to breathe and causing individuals to experience aggressive coughing spirts. If untreated, popcorn lung can degenerate into total respiratory collapse, which can be fatal. Also known as coffee lung, it can be also be found in manufacturing facilities that produce animal food, gum, or other food products.
In its natural form, diacetyl is a harmless additive, used to enhance the flavoring of e-liquids. But when heated in an e-cigarette, diacetyl is transformed into its hazardous vaporized state.
The health risks of e-cigarettes differ depending on which brand you choose. If you choose to Juul, you are choosing to use a product that has a higher concentration of nicotine than normal cigarettes but does not contain dangerous diacetyl vapors. If you choose to use most other e-cigarettes, you are choosing a product that has a lower concentration of nicotine compared to cigarettes, but you are likely also putting yourself at risk of developing popcorn lung. Either way, you are still putting your health at risk.
Cigarettes are bad for you – but e-cigarettes are by no means a lesser of two evils. E-cigarettes, be it Juul or any other popular brand, still put you at risk of developing a serious and potentially fatal injury.
The study published in the American Journal of Physiology, which was conducted by medical investigators at the University of Athens, Greece, found that when vaporized, the chemical flavorings and additives can cause considerable inflammation in the lungs. According to researchers, even short-term e-cigarette use can induce significant inflammatory lung damage. Although this inflammation does not appear to pose a cancer risk, there are a number of other serious health risks associated with this kind of respiratory strain.
“Electronic cigarettes are advertised as a less harmful nicotine delivery system or as a new smoking cessation tool. Our findings suggest that exposure to e-cig vapor can trigger inflammatory responses and adversely affect respiratory system mechanics.” explained the study’s co-author Dr. Constantinos Glynos.
Experts in the field say that this first-stage exploratory research, which was conducted on lab mice, should have been initiated years ago before e-cigarettes gained market approval.
“They [e-cigarettes] hit the market around 2006, 2007 before research could be conducted to determine what the potential problems would be. The manufacturers were the ones telling us that these products were safe to use,” explained Dr. Patricia Folan, director of the Center for Tobacco Control, a division of Northwell Health in Great Neck.
These e-cigarette manufacturers never actually tested the potential health risks of their products but based their safety claims about these flavorings and additives on previous approvals made by the FDA for a variety of food additives. As Dr. Folan accentuated in her comments, these flavorings and additives were deemed safe for consumption, but no tests were conducted on the long-term effects of inhaling these chemicals in their vaporized state. Only now, more than a decade later, are the first third-party researchers exposing these health risks.
Now, it may, unfortunately, be too late. The long-term effects of exposure to these chemicals could be detrimental to the millions of U.S. smokers who have made the switch to e-cigarettes.
Previous research has been conducted on one chemical additive prevalent in e-cigarettes, diacetyl. Multiple studies have linked vaporized diacetyl to the medical condition bronchiolitis obliterans (popcorn lung), a degeneration of the lungs that can result in total respiratory failure and even death. The dangers of diacetyl were only uncovered after researchers learned that foods containing diacetyl posed a threat to consumers, prompting research into the dangers of diacetyl in e-cigarettes.
The American Journal of Physiology study found that other chemical additives found in e-cigarettes previously thought to be safe, such as propylene glycol, may be responsible for causing respiratory inflammation and other pulmonary problems.
While some e-cigarettes, such as the popular Juul e-cigarette, do not contain diacetyl, almost all do contain propylene glycol and other potentially harmful chemicals. A number of the flavor chemicals used in most e-liquids also contain aldehydes, which, when inhaled, can irritate the mucosal tissue in the respiratory tract.
The new research linking these chemical additives to lung inflammation may challenge Juul’s (and other manufacturers’) claims that their products are a safe alternative to conventional cigarettes.
With this new revelation of e-cigarette dangers, experts are calling for further research into the potential short-term and long-term effects of e-cigarette use.
“The observed detrimental effects in the lung upon e-cigarette vapor exposure in animal models highlight the need for further investigation of safety and toxicity of these rapidly expanding devices worldwide,” Dr. Glynos said.
If Juul and other e-cigarettes are still dangerous, why have the number of users been steadily increasing over time?
E-cigarettes feature two characteristics that make them appealing to smokers: enticing flavors that cut out the “bad taste” of cigarettes (1) and a concealable shape that allows them to be smoked virtually anywhere (2).
Juul Flavors / E-Cigarette Flavors
Juul offers users a range of enticing flavors, such as fruit medley, mango, cool cucumber, and crème Brulee. These flavors not only taste better but also reduce some of the social stigmas of smoking by eliminating the smoking odor. Federal law prohibits cigarette companies from selling flavored tobaccos, citing flavor’s appeal to youth smokers. But Juul and other e-cigarettes are able to circumnavigate these laws because they are not technically selling flavored tobacco, but rather a flavored e-liquid containing nicotine. A number of advocacy groups, and potential Juul lawsuit, are currently challenging e-cigarette manufacturers’ ability to offer flavors in the U.S. legal system, but at this time flavors are still available to consumers.
The presence of diacetyl in e-liquids is due to these flavors. While not all flavors include diacetyl, many do. Diacetyl is most prevalent in both sweet and buttery flavors: flavors like butterscotch, coffee, candy, peppermint, and chocolate.
E-Cigarettes & Juul are Easily Concealable
E-cigarettes vary in shape, size, and design. But most e-cigarettes are either small enough to conceal from others or they designed to look more like an electronic device than a smoking apparatus. Either way, it is hard for most non-users to distinguish an e-cigarette for what it really is. E-cigarettes almost never give off a smoky aroma. Almost all e-cigarette exhalants are waterbased, so they put off a “cloud” of what is essentially water vapor. For these reasons, e-cigarettes are easier to conceal and their use in public is more socially accepted.
Juul distinguishes itself from other e-cigarettes because it is the most easily concealable of all e-cigarettes. Juul’s sleek shape is often confused with a USB-drive and the fact that it is charged using a USB outlet only further aids to this confusion. The device is small enough to fit in the closed palm of a person’s hand, unlike most other e-cigarettes which are much larger. Juul vapor is water-based and almost completely odorless, so users can smoke it indoors, in public, or in group settings without other’s noticing.
Teenagers and Juul
Nearly half of all Twitter users who followed Juul last year were between the ages of 13 and 17, according to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics. Juul’s sleek & concealable shape, a range of enticing flavors, odorless vapor exhalant, and mischaracterization as a healthy alternative to cigarettes has led it to become the name-brand of e-cigarettes. Juul has helped to end the social stigmas surrounding smoking.
This is unfortunate, especially for the anti-smoking advocacy groups who have been on a decades’ long mission to build those social stigmas around smoking. Those stigmas were built on a foundation that attacked the health effects of cigarettes, cigarettes off-putting smell, and the dangers of secondhand smoke. Juul Labs claims to offer a solution to all of these issues: Their product is supposedly safe, odorless, and there is no secondhand smoke.
Unfortunately, the demographic that seems to be most susceptible to this false advertising are teenagers. Until recently, nicotine use amongst teens had been on a steady decline since the mid-1990s. But with the introduction of Juul and other e-cigarettes, nicotine use is once again on the rise amongst teens.
At least 11% of middle school and high school students admit to using Juul.
According to an analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, around 33% of these teen users say that the availability of flavors is the main reason that they use this product. Another 39% attributed their use to a family member or friend who also used them. 17% claimed that they used Juul products because they believed them to be less harmful than other forms of tobacco – and the misconceptions about the health risks associated with Juul / e-cigarettes are rampant in the teenage demographic.
In fact, a majority of youth e-cigarette users think they vaped only flavoring, not nicotine, the last time they used an e-cigarette, according to a study conducted at the University of Michigan. Another study, conducted by the Truth Initiative, found that 63% of Juul users between 15 and 24 years old did not know that the product always contained nicotine – a chemical known to be harmful to adolescent brain development.
Teens that find themselves addicted to Juul should consider filing a Juul lawsuit while they now fight for their health.
But, Why are Teens using Juul?
Juul Labs has come under scrutiny by a number of advocacy groups who claim that Juul’s advertising campaign is aimed towards teens. The advocacy groups cited bright colors, youthful imagery, paired with fruity flavors offered by Juul – all of which they believe is an effort to hone in on the youth market.
Juul has also become something of a social phenomenon, taking over social media platforms, such as Instagram, which is popular with youth culture. On any given platform, you can find trending hashtags like #DoItForTheJuul, where teens post images of themselves using Juul and other e-cigarettes.
Juul’s concealable shape and odorless fume exhalant also make it attractive to teens, who have found it easy to use at home, in public, and even in school, under the watchful eye of adults.
Juul Lawsuit / E-Cigarette Lawsuit
Personal injury attorneys are preparing for a high frequency of Juul lawsuit cases and e-cigarette lawsuit cases, which are expected to begin building over the next few years. Juul lawsuits and e-cigarette lawsuits will range from diacetyl related injuries, smoking-related injuries, to false advertising and failure to warn consumer cases as well as an ongoing Juul lawsuit for addiction related injuries.
For free, no-obligation Juul lawsuit, or e-cigarette lawsuit case consultations, contact us today. One of our experienced investigation team members would be happy to discuss your potential Juul lawsuit/e-cigarette lawsuit, free of charge.