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JUUL Followed in Big Tobacco’s Footsteps

When cigarette smokers first began to file lawsuits against American tobacco companies in the 1950s, they alleged that the companies manufactured and marketed a product that was unfit for public use; that they failed to warn consumers of the known risks associated with cigarette use; and that they violated consumer protection legislation. A second major wave of tobacco lawsuits in the 1980s alleged that tobacco companies also knew and failed to warn that their products were addictive. Our JUUL lawsuit alleges similar misdeeds – but that’s not the only way JUUL’s rise recalls big tobacco…

In October, the Los Angeles Times published a story based on a review of thousands of pages of JUUL’s internal records. It found direct links between the company’s nicotine salts formula and research conducted by Camel cigarettes in the 1970s and 80s. Part of Camel’s plan was to create a more palatable and intense nicotine experience that would appeal to younger users.

‘The evidence depicts a Silicon Valley start-up that purported to “deconstruct” Big Tobacco even as it emulated it, harvesting the industry’s technical savvy to launch a 21st century nicotine arms race,’ the article reads.

“Juul mimics the evil genius of the cigarette – but does it even better,” Matthew Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, told the Times. “They also pulled it off without any of the historical baggage, giving the deceptive illusion that it was safe.”

A study released in December also determined that JUUL’s nicotine formula is ‘nearly identical to the flavour and addictive profile’ of Marlboro cigarettes, according to Al Jazeera. Marlboro brand is owned by Altria Group Inc., the company that in 2018 purchased a 35 per cent stake in Juul Labs.

“Juul is all the things about Marlboro that are addictive,” researcher James Pankow said to Aljazeera. “Then they take away the bad smell and add some flavours. It’s a much more pleasant experience.”

While JUUL maintains that its products are designed to help smokers switch to a less harmful nicotine alternative, the company’s marketing practices and product design suggest that attracting non-smokers was always an aim, as our JUUL lawsuit alleges. E-cigarettes deliver a powerful nicotine punch without the negative side effects that push young users away from tobacco. They are also marketed and sold without stigmas that decades of anti-smoking rhetoric have helped establish. The result is a new nicotine addiction crisis in North America that is already affecting public health.

If you use JUUL or have used JUUL in the past, reach out today to discuss the possibility of financial compensation through our JUUL lawsuit. You can also fill out the free, confidential case review form on our homepage.