^
Keep New Times Free
4

Fort Lauderdale Law Firm Files Court Case to Ban Sale of Juul Products

A young woman vaping, specifically "Juuling."EXPAND
A young woman vaping, specifically "Juuling."
Photo by Sarah Johnson / Flickr

For a while, cigarette smoking seemed to be a thing of the past. But thanks to the Juul e-cigarette, a youth nicotine epidemic has arisen.

According to the FDA, e-cigarette use increased 78 percent among high-school students and 48 percent among middle-school students from 2017 to 2018. Last fall, the FDA officially called e-cigarette use among youths a crisis that must be immediately addressed to stop kids from getting hooked on nicotine.

Now, one Fort Lauderdale law firm is stepping in. This week, attorneys with Schlesinger Law Office filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in federal court to ban the sale of Juul e-cigarettes across the United States. The motion cites the company's deceptive marketing and failure to obtain FDA pre-market authorization to sell its electronic devices, which resemble USB flash drives.

"The motion to enjoin Juul from selling its products seeks only to treat the company as it should have been all along," says Jonathan Gdanski, an attorney at Schlesinger. "You don't get to sell a tobacco product, take over the marketplace, and then ask for permission for that product after it is ingrained in society."

Juul is one of five brands that control 97 percent of the nation's e-cigarette market due to its popular flavored pods, which appear to have been marketed toward teens. The company is expected to rake in $3.4 billion this year alone.

Although Juul has said it will stop marketing its devices on Facebook and Instagram and selling its flavored pods in stores, many critics believe the move is too little, too late because many kids are already addicted.

Lawsuits thus far allege the company violated federal racketeering laws for deceiving teens into thinking its product had no negative health implications and then denying such action.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

"Juul knew that its e-cigarettes were unsafe for non-smokers and that the product posed a risk of aggravating addiction in those addicted to cigarettes," Schlesinger attorney Jeffrey Haberman says.

This past April, Schlesinger Law Offices filed a class-action lawsuit against Juul on behalf of a 15-year-old girl from Sarasota, claiming she is addicted to nicotine as a result of Juuling. Additionally, Miami resident Sabrina Zampa also sued the company in November, saying her sons cannot quit vaping and were not aware that Juul pods contained nicotine.

Just last week, Forbes reported that Maxwell Berger, a 22-year-old from Connecticut, filed a lawsuit against Juul stating his two-a-day pod addiction caused him to suffer a massive stroke that has left him with left-side paralysis and speech and vision impairments. Like all of the other lawsuits, Berger's suit alleges Juul marketed its device to kids and portrayed its use to be safe and fun.

Yesterday, the same day Schlesinger filed the lawsuit, Juul executives testified before the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy regarding the rise of e-cigarette use among teens.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.