A 19-year-old e-cigarette user from Arizona is suing Juul Labs, seeking more than $75,000 in damages for ‘the mental anguish and psychological trauma’ of nicotine addiction.
Mejia, of Yavapai County, just north of Phoenix, said he started using Juul’s sleek vaping pods in 2016, when he was 15 years old, under the impression that it was safer than smoking cigarettes.
In a suit, filed against the company last week, Mejia says he suffered ‘diminished enjoyment of life’ due to his nicotine addiction and ‘other severe and personal injuries.’
Mejia does not elaborate on the injuries, but claims he will need ‘lifelong medical treatment, monitoring and/or medications.’
According to the CDC, at least 2,000 Americans have contracted an infection from e-cigarettes. Teens, school districts and states are accusing Juul of driving up those numbers
The lawsuit accuses Juul of deliberately deceiving young people and failing to meet its own promise of avoiding ‘unreasonable, dangerous side effects.’
Mejia’s case comes as three states, Washington, D.C., two counties, and two school districts pursue lawsuits against the California-based company amid concerns over a spate of vaping-related lung diseases.
This week, Alaska became the 50th state to report a vaping-related illness.
According to the CDC, at least 2,000 Americans have contracted an infection from e-cigarettes.
And local governments are demanding answers from Juul, the company that became synonymous with vaping.
On Wednesday, Minnesota joined California and New York in filing a lawsuit against the company, the market leader in vaping devices.
The suits all accuse the e-cigarette maker of unlawfully targeting young people with its products to get a new generation addicted to nicotine.
On Tuesday, Washington, DC, Attorney General Karl Racine announced a lawsuit Tuesday against Juul, alleging that the company’s viral marketing contributed to the surge in underage vaping by teens in the district and across the US.
The lawsuit also says that Juul misled consumers about the potent nicotine levels contained in its flavored pods.
New York and California both filed lawsuits with similar language in the last two weeks. North Carolina was the first to sue the vaping start-up, filing a lawsuit in May.
Two counties in Washington state have also sued Juul, as have two school districts in Washington and one in Kentucky.
In Canada, vaping bans are sweeping the country.
On Wednesday, the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland & Labrador said they would not allow the sale of cannabis vapes.
‘We will not be selling vaping products on January 1,’ Fabrice Giguère, a spokesman for the Société québécoise du cannabis, which is responsible for marijuana sales in the province, told Reuters.