San Diego Unified School District is yet another major public education institution to file a Juul lawsuit in recent months. Citing the growing “youth vaping epidemic” in San Diego public schools, the district filed suit earlier this week claiming that Juul deliberately marketed vaping products to its students.
The complaint, filed in the San Diego Superior Court, alleges that Juul has created a disruption in the learning environment, causing an increase in student absences due to vaping-related illnesses. The complaint also alleges that San Diego public schools have had to reallocate education and learning funds to fund educational campaigns, prevention, and treatment.
San Diego Unified School District is demanding monetary compensation for the costs offset from the budget to fund anti-vaping campaigns, student prevention, and treatment programs.
“Our district is in the business of educating students in a healthy and safe environment,” San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten said. “This lawsuit supports district goals by holding Juul accountable for its harmful marketing practices and unsafe products.”
Juul said in a statement that they are working with regulators, public health officials and local lawmakers to prevent continued underage vaping.
The district says that while new preventative regulations have been enacted, they fall short of meeting the standards set for other smoking devices. While cigarette companies face advertising restrictions such as the inability to advertise on billboards, sponsor events, give out free samples, and advertise on certain media platforms, Juul and other vaping devices are not limited by these restrictions.
According to the complaint, Big Tobacco’s advertising options “were prohibited because of their effectiveness at appealing to youth.” However, Juul uses these same methods regularly. The school district believes that Juul has successfully used these methods to target young people.