Juul Ignored Early Evidence It Was Causing Addiction in Teens, According to Report

Juul Ignored Early Evidence It Was Causing Addiction in Teens, According to Report

A Reuters investigation has uncovered that throughout the developmental stages of Juul, employees and developers expressed concern over Juul’s nicotine potency and addictiveness. Juul failed to heed these concerns.

Former employees at Juul claim that Juul’s central goal was to captivate users by creating an e-cigarette that provided high levels of nicotine without the harsh taste that other e-cigarettes delivered. According to these employees, Juul’s development team found that most e-cigarettes failed because they did not provide a high enough concentration of nicotine and/or the vapors left a harsh taste in the user’s mouth. To combat these issues, Juul developers groomed through old tobacco-company research and patents and found a solution by adding organic acids to nicotine, which allows for higher doses of nicotine with a smooth taste.

According to employees, Juul developers and employees toyed with different combinations of organic acids and nicotine, testing the product on themselves and on strangers in public, until they found the perfect combination of ingredients.

The final formula delivered such a high dose of nicotine per puff without the negative effects of high dose nicotine (harsh taste, shakiness, and vomiting), that developers were concerned that the number of nicotine users could inhale at once with Juul could pose dangerous health risks.

In 2014, Juul founders applied for a patent for a mechanism that would alert users or disable the device entirely when the user inhaled a dose of nicotine that reached a certain threshold which made it dangerous.

Chenyue Xing, a former scientist for Juul, said that one idea was to turn off the Juul device for thirty minutes after the user had taken a certain amount of puffs. Xing said that the main issue at hand was that, unlike combustible cigarettes, a Juul never burns out. This makes it harder for the user to determine how much nicotine they have inhaled and when is a good time to take a break. “You hope that they get what they want, and they stop. We didn’t want to introduce a new product with a stronger addictive power.”

But although Juul recognized this potential issue, they never implemented such a restrictive mechanism to limit nicotine intake.

Even early on, this unrestricted level of nicotine was cause for concern for some Juul employees who felt that the ease at which users could consume nicotine with Juul would result in addiction.

Other employees became concerned with Juul’s appeal to youth. According to one ex-company manager, after Juul’s market release in 2015, company reps received a huge influx of calls from teens asking where they could buy more Juuls and Juul pods.

The high frequency of calls from inquiring teens sparked an internal debate at Juul. Co-founder James Monsees was one of the executives who argued to take immediate action to limit youth sales. Other executives and investors, such as healthcare entrepreneur Hoyoung Huh, argued that Juul could not be faulted for Juul causing youth nicotine addiction because the company never directly advertised to teens.

“Clearly, people internally had an issue with it,” the manager told Reuters. “But a lot of people had no problem with 500 percent year-over-year growth.”

Juul has since come under heavy scrutiny from lawsuits and lawmakers who say that Juul directly targeted to youth – a claim that directly challenges Huh’s own claim.

Juul eventually made efforts to curtail youth sales in April 2018, two days after the FDA announced that it would be taking action to stop underage sales of Juul.

Reuters investigators also talked to two prominent tobacco researchers who said that they warned Juul executives and developers about the potential for youth Juul abuse.

Neal Benowitz, professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco, was one of the tobacco researchers. Benowitz said that he warned Juul’s director of scientific affairs, Gal Cohen, that rampant teen use could wreak havoc on Juul.

“Look, the one thing you have to do is make sure that this doesn’t get into the hands of young people,” Benowitz recalled telling Cohen.” If it spreads among kids, this product could be dead.”

Share

Litigation Updates

Vape Co. to pay $51M over youth ad blitz, mass. AG says

December 16, 2021

December 16, 2021

Vape Co. to pay $51M over youth ad blitz, mass. AG says

Juul Urges Federal Judge to Select School Districts as First Two MDL Bellwether Trials

November 2, 2021

November 2, 2021

Juul Urges Federal Judge to Select School Districts as First Two MDL Bellwether Trials

New Mexico E-Cigarette Shop Hit with $2.5 million Jury Verdict for Defective Lithium-Ion Battery

October 15, 2021

October 15, 2021

New Mexico E-Cigarette Shop Hit with $2.5 million Jury Verdict for Defective Lithium-Ion Battery

E-Cigarettes, Including JUUL, Under Review and Potentially Banned

September 20, 2021

September 20, 2021

E-Cigarettes, Including JUUL, Under Review and Potentially Banned

Chicago Files E-Cigarette Lawsuit Over Flavored Tobacco After New Tobacco Regulations

February 2, 2021

February 2, 2021

Chicago Files E-Cigarette Lawsuit Over Flavored Tobacco After New Tobacco Regulations

Juul, Altria Must Face Public Nuisance and Negligence Claims

October 27, 2020

October 27, 2020

Juul, Altria Must Face Public Nuisance and Negligence Claims

CLIENT REVIEWS

quotation
Tom Lewis

TorHoerman Law was responsible for handling a medical case for our family. I was extremely impressed with their professionalism and ability to react quickly. They also did a nice job keeping us updated with the case throughout the process. This was the first time experiencing a situation like this and Tor Hoerman law did an excellent job from start to finish.

quotation
Jordan Terry

TorHoerman Law is an extraordinary law firm – a firm that truly makes the client’s best interests the primary concern. Their team of personal injury lawyers are experienced, personable, and well versed in a range of litigation areas. They are supported by a dedicated team of staff that are as equally friendly and helpful. I would recommend TorHoerman Law for any personal injury litigation needs.

quotation
Dave Woodley

All of my questions were answered quickly and in a way I could understand. Steve and the entire staff were friendly and professional.

quotation
Jordan Butler

I highly recommend this law firm! The attorneys and staff at THL worked hard, communicated every step of the process, kept me well informed at all times, and exceeded all expectations! The staff is kind, considerate, professional, and very experienced. Look no further, call now!

quotation
Maddy Moeller

Top-notch, hardworking attorneys!

quotation
Karen Hersman

A wonderful and professional legal team. They helped me when I needed expert legal representation! Thank you TorHoerman Law!

quotation
Angel Truesdale

They contacted me the next day. Very nice people!

quotation
Paul Graegin

The firm went above and beyond. Thank you for everything.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR MESSAGE

One of our associates will follow up with you shortly