Decorah Community School District, a rural public school district located in Decorah, Iowa, filed a lawsuit against manufacturers of JUUL e-cigarettes, claiming that they targeted children by employing illegal marketing tactics, which resulted in widespread addiction problems among students across the U.S.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on October 9. The school district now joins several other schools nationwide who have filed lawsuits to address the rising nicotine addiction problems that were fueled by manufacturers of e-cigarettes, including JUUL Labs, Altria Group, Philip Morris USA, and Nu Mark LLC.
The school district’s lawsuit states that the widespread ‘JUULing’ not only has severe health consequences but also has set major burdens on society and schools. The school also noted that the bathrooms are now referred to as “the JUUL room,” and a new term “nic sick” is referred to flu-like symptoms associated with JUUL overuse.
The use of e-cigarettes among high school students has increased 10-fold, from 1.5 percent in 2011 to 16 percent in 2015, due to its easy availability on the internet. According to a national survey of middle schools and high schools, 43.3 percent of schools had to implement JUUL-specific policy, along with an e-cigarette policy.
JUUL Labs is facing several lawsuits and class action claims, each raising similar allegations that the manufacturer created false and misleading advertisements for JUUL, plaguing the U.S. with nicotine addiction problems in recent years. The JUUL litigation has been centralized under MDL. No. 2913 before U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick III in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.