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Johnson County man sues e-cigarette manufacturer over marketing

Posted at 2:16 PM, Sep 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-17 17:05:48-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Johnson County man who began vaping in high school has filed a lawsuit against an electronic cigarette manufacturer, saying that its marketing and promotional efforts are misleading and do not alert users to the amount of nicotine present in the product.

Isaac Gant began using the Juul e-cigarettes when he was 18 and a senior in high school, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for Kansas. Four years later, he says he continues to use the product and has become addicted to nicotine.

His use of Juul products has led to respiratory problems, anxiety and coughing fits, the lawsuit says.

“Gant understood from Juul Labs’ marketing and promotional efforts that the JUULpods he was using would be a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes,” the lawsuit reads. “But even then he did not understand or appreciate the amount of nicotine he was taking in.”

Gant says he began using the Juul products because of the company’s advertisements, which featured “bold coloring, displayed attractive and youthful models, and depicted people laughing and having fun,” according to the lawsuit.

The marketing did not alert Gant to the fact that using the products would lead his body to absorb more nicotine, more quickly, than if he had smoked a pack of cigarettes, according to the lawsuit.

A spokesperson for Juul issued a statement on Tuesday in response to the lawsuit, saying the company aims to be an alternative for current adult smokers and does not market to youth.

"This suit largely copies and pastes unfounded allegations previously raised in other lawsuits which we have been actively contesting for over a year," the statement said. "This case is without merit and we will defend our mission throughout this process."

Last month, a Clay County mother and her 14-year-old daughter also sued Juul, alleging that the company’s marketing caused the girl to become addicted to the product.