There are two very concerning trends in vaping — rising use among teens and rising injury and death according to the Center for Disease Control [CDC]. These two vaping related data points are pointing toward the front end of what may become an epidemic. As of December 10, 2019, the CDC has documented a total of 2,409 hospitalizations related to vaping and confirmed 52 vaping-related deaths.

student vaping graph

At the same time, the National Youth Tobacco survey reports that since 2016, the percentage of U.S. high school students using e-cigarettes has more than doubled from 11.3% to 27.5%.

This massive increase in use by teens tracks the rise in popularity of JUUL brand of e-cigarettes. JUUL started with very little market share in 2016, but they ramped up their marketing campaigns to target teens. By the end of 2018, they had grabbed over 42% of the e-cigarette market share.

JUUL growthThe increase in vaping use amongst teens is leading to an increase in hospitalizations and deaths. The question is: “what is the underlying cause”? According to Science News, federal health officials have identified a possible culprit: vitamin E acetate, which is added to vaping products as a thickening agent.

What is becoming very clear is that we are seeing a drastic increase of the number of young and otherwise healthy individuals being hospitalized across the country due to vaping.

“While of course, these lung injuries related to vaping are very serious, it really is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Susan Walley, a pediatrician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. “The millions of kids who are using e-cigarettes now… what’s going to happen to all those kids in 10 years?”

It is too early to tell what will happen to all these kids in 10 years, but the early data is clearly pointing to the beginning of an epidemic of serious health consequences related to the increasing use of these dangerous products.

These two data points regarding increasing use combined with increasing injury and death amongst JUUL users is a stark contrast against the marketing campaigns of JUUL, who have touted e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to regular tobacco cigarettes.

The newly formed Multidistrict Litigation against JUUL will be procedurally similar to the MDLs formed in the Municipal Opioid Litigation and the Roundup Cancer litigation that Smith & Johnson is currently involved in. Smith & Johnson is currently interviewing potential Michigan claimants for inclusion in this litigation re: JUUL e-cigarettes. If you have questions about this litigation and what rights you may have, please contact Attorney Tim Smith at (231) 946-0700 for a free consultation.