Sarasota family sues JUUL, saying 15-year-old daughter got hooked on e-cigs

Sarasota County

A Sarasota couple is taking on an e-cigarette giant.

Their 15-year-old daughter got hooked on vaping JUUL e-cigarettes and now she suffers seizures. The suit claims the company purposely targets teens with its products.    

Jared and Erin NesSmith say one year ago, their 15-year-old daughter got hooked on JUUL e-cigarettes and it has led to a downward spiral.

“My client got started, got attracted to the mango flavor. That stuff, that has no business being out, available to youngsters,” said attorney Scott Schlesinger.

She’s now addicted and suffers from seizures, a possible side effect of nicotine addiction.

The family has now filed a class action lawsuit to put an end to this product.

One JUUL pod contains the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.

The suit alleges JUUL uses colorful, eye-catching ad campaigns with youth-oriented imagery, all in an effort to lure underage smokers.

“They are utterly false in saying that it’s for adults because if it was really for adults, they would try to get it approved as a smoking cessation product,” said Schlesinger.

According to the nonprofit group “The Truth Initiative,” underage users typically get e-cigarettes from friends or family or sometimes directly from stores.

JUUL released a statement, saying

JUUL Labs is committed to eliminating combustible cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in the world. Our product is intended to be a viable alternative for current adult smokers only. We do not want non-nicotine users, especially youth, to ever try our product. To this end, we have launched an aggressive action plan to combat underage use as it is antithetical to our mission. To the extent these cases allege otherwise, they are without merit and we will defend our mission throughout this process.

The company has taken down its social media accounts and removed fruity flavors from stores. The company also supports raising the minimum smoking age to 21.

“JUUL knew full well what it was doing. It knew full well it was all about hooking kids,” said Schlesinger.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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