St. Louis Record

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Missouri mom files suit against JUUL over teen's vaping, nicotine addiction

Federal Court

By Shanice Harris | Sep 6, 2019

Juul

KANSAS CITY – A Missouri woman is suing JUUL Labs Inc. over allegations it has a marketing strategy that targets teens.

Mindy Boyd filed the class-action lawsuit on Aug. 26 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Boyd alleges her 14-year-old daughter started using JUUL products in 2018 and soon after, became addicted to the nicotine and has not been able to quit. 

JUUL denies any wrongdoing and says it doesn't promote its product to teens.

“Our product has always only been intended to be a viable alternative for the 1 billion current adult smokers in the world," JUUL Labs said in a statement. “We have never marketed to youth and do not want any non-nicotine users to try our products. Last year, we launched an aggressive action plan to combat underage use as it is antithetical to our mission.”

This isn’t the first lawsuit to hit JUUL Labs this month from a Missouri mom. On Aug. 21, Chasity Phillips filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri against the company, claiming that her teenage son was addicted to its product. 

JUUL claims that many of these lawsuits are without merit.

“We strongly advocate for Tobacco 21 legislation, we stopped the sale of non-tobacco and non-menthol based flavored JUULpods to our traditional retail store partners, enhanced our online age-verification process, strengthened our retailer compliance program with over 2,000 secret shopper visits per month, and shut down our Facebook and Instagram accounts while working constantly to remove inappropriate social media content generated by others on those platforms,” JUUL said in the statement. “... It was our hope that others in the category would self-impose similar restrictions to address youth usage, and it is now our hope that regulators will impose these same restrictions to protect youth and to preserve the opportunity to eliminate combustible cigarettes, the deadliest legal consumer product known to man."

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U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri

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