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November 7, 2019

JUUL Ignored Evidence of Hooking Teens on Nicotine

JUUL Executives Knew Early on About the Potency of Their Nicotine Salts

New allegations from ex-JUUL employees revealed JUUL Labs not only knew their nicotine salts were extremely addicting but decided against designing a failsafe in their e-cigarettes to regulate nicotine intake.

Former JUUL employees reported to Reuters News that early JUUL e-cigarettes were largely unsuccessful because users complained about the taste and the failure to deliver enough nicotine. As a result, JUUL executives studied previous tobacco-company research and patents to develop their infamous JUUL pods, liquid nicotine that tasted better and was highly potent. These “nicotine salts”, which are said to be the nicotine equivalent of smoking two packs of cigarettes, were first tested on JUUL employees and test subjects off the street. The new formula’s strength was obvious from the get-go. Early versions of nicotine salts made some testers vomit or made their hands shake uncontrollably.

When JUUL reached their final formula for the nicotine salts, researchers remarked how effectively and fast JUUL pods delivered nicotine into the bloodstream. In fact, JUUL engineers started looking into different ways to limit how much nicotine users were intaking, because the nicotine salts were so dangerously addictive and potent.

“You hope that they get what they want, and they stop,” former JUUL scientist Chenyue Xing said, commenting on regulating JUUL users’ nicotine intake. “We didn’t want to introduce a new product with a stronger addictive power.” Xing was one of the scientists who helped patent JUUL’s liquid-nicotine formula.

Xing and fellow scientists suggested shutting down e-cigarette devices for at least a half an hour or limiting JUUL devices to a specific number of puffs before shutting off. However, JUUL never implemented any sort of failsafe into JUUL e-cigarettes. JUUL declined any comment about why they never installed features in their e-cigarettes that limited nicotine intake.

JUUL Addiction and Injury Lawsuits

These testimonies come during a heated time, as lawsuits across the country not only call out JUUL Labs for deliberately creating an overly-addictive product without adequate warning but targeting children through their marketing. Currently, the US faces an overwhelming teen vaping epidemic, and JUUL Labs appears to be at the heart of the vaping outbreak. Experts largely blame JUUL for the dramatic increase in teen vaping in the United States, as the rise of JUUL sales directly correlated with the rise of nicotine use in young adults.

Increasing numbers of lawsuits filed by young adults and parents of injured teens accuse JUUL Labs of creating a dangerously addictive product that contributed to injuries including vaping-linked seizures, stroke, and even death. With the increase of JUUL injury lawsuits, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) decided in October 2019 to centralize all federal JUUL lawsuits as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  During the litigation process, if parties cannot reach a settlement for the JUUL nicotine addiction cases cannot be reached, each case may be remanded back to the court they were originally filed in for future trial dates.

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