CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois teenager who fell ill with a lung illness immediately after vaping for more than a year sued a top e-cigarette maker on Friday, accusing it of deliberately marketing and advertising to young folks and sending the message that vaping is cool.
Attorneys filed a lawsuit in Lake County Circuit Court on behalf of 18-year-old Adam Hergenreder, who was hospitalized at the finish of August for about a week immediately after complaining of nausea and labored breathing.
The 85-web page suit argued Juul Labs conveyed in ads and via social media campaigns that youngsters could increase their social status by vaping. It also mentioned Juul never ever completely disclose their goods include harmful chemical compounds.
“To place it mildly, Adam didn’t stand a likelihood to prevent receiving hooked on these toxic timebombs,” mentioned Hergenreder’s lawyer, Antonio Romanucci.
The filing comes as well being officials investigate hundreds of breathing illnesses nationwide reported in folks who applied vaping devices. An Illinois man died in August immediately after contracting a lung illness linked to vaping.
Hergenreder lately told the Chicago Tribune that final year he began getting homemade devices filled with THC, the higher-inducing ingredient in marijuana, off the street. Vaping organizations say blame really should be place on these black-market place devices, referred to as dab sticks, for a spate of hospitalizations.
Friday’s lawsuit did not straight raise that challenge, like no matter whether it is attainable that the makeshift devices containing THC could have triggered or contributed to Hergenreder’s illness.
Hergenreder, from the Chicago suburb of Gurnee, was released from the hospital on Sept. six with “significant lung harm,” according to the lawsuit. He appeared with his mother and his lawyer at a Friday news conference announcing the litigation.
San Francisco-primarily based Juul mentioned in a Friday statement that it is “never marketed to youth” and has ongoing campaigns to combat underage use. It added that its goods are meant to enable adult smokers wean themselves off regular paper-and-tobacco cigarettes, which Juul referred to as “the deadliest legal customer item identified to man.”
Amongst the precautions Juul mentioned it is taken to make certain young folks are not drawn to its e-cigarettes was to close Juul’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. The enterprise mentioned it has also deployed technologies that restricts a sale till someone’s age is verified.
The new lawsuit accused Juul of occasionally relying on indirect marketing to young children, like by employing social media customers with substantial followings to market Juul goods in tweets or Instagram posts.
The lawsuit also names a gas station in Waukegan as a defendant, accusing it of on a regular basis promoting Hergenreder nicotine-primarily based Juul goods when he was also young to legally get them. Federal law prohibits e-cigarette and all other tobacco sales to these beneath 18.