A teen has described how she was drawn in by Juul's advertising campaigns but did not realize its products contained nicotine, and is now considering a lawsuit against the e-cigarette firm after becoming "reliant" on its products.
Bailey Legacki's experiences were outlined in a New York Times investigation into Juul and its impact on young users.
Both Juul and vaping in general have faced intense scrutiny in recent months, amid a flurry of deaths from vaping-related illnesses. Juul has been investigated by the FDA and faced multiple congressional hearings.
Juul did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
A teenager has said she is considering suing e-cigarette firm Juul after becoming "reliant" on its products.
In a New York Times feature about Juul published Saturday, Bailey Legacki, who is now 18, recounted her experience of being attracted by Juul's teen-focused, brightly-coloured advertising campaigns during the 2015-2016 school year.
Juul has apologized for addicting teen users to its vaping products, and the Food and Drug Administration has caused the rise of e-cigarette use among younger users an epidemic.
Legacki told the Times that Juul e-cigarettes were "everywhere" and that "everyone had one," noting the compelling yet uninformative nature of Juul's adverts. "They were young people [in the adverts] and it looked like they were having fun," she told the Times. "Or, it would just be the device that was shown, but not really explaining anything about it, just, 'Try this.'"
"If I knew it had nicotine at all, I wouldn't have done it. Now I'm so reliant on something I had no intention of doing. I knew what cigarettes do. This Juul was new and nobody knew what the Juul did."
Juul's product packaging now sports labels warning of its nicotine content, but a Juul spokesman admitted to the NYT that Juul's packaging in the firm's early days only mentioned nicotine in very small font in the ingredients list. There were no warning labels on the packaging.
Legacki is reportedly mulling legal action.
Juul did not immediately respond to BI's request for comment.
Launched in 2015, Juul was valued at $38 billion as recently as December 2018 when tobacco giant Altria purchased a 35% stake in the firm. But its reputation has taken a dent, thanks to the rise of mysterious vaping-related deaths and the uptick of vaping among teens.
Amid reports that minors were using Juul e-cigarettes on school grounds, the Food and Drug Administration launched an undercover crackdown of Juul sales to minors, which it called the "largest coordinated enforcement effort" in FDA history.
The FDA was also revealed to be investigating whether Juul was marketing its products to teens, despite FDA law prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to under-eighteens.
In April 2019, Democrats in the US Senate launched an investigation into Juul's social media and advertising practices along with its billion-dollar deal with Altria. The US House of Representatives announced its own investigation into Juul two months later.
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