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Shawnee Mission School Board votes to sue e-cigarette manufacturer Juul

Posted at 6:59 AM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 07:59:20-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A second school district in Johnson County, Kansas, will sue e-cigarette manufacturer Juul.

The Shawnee Mission school board voted Monday night to begin process of filing a lawsuit against Juul. The Olathe school board passed a similar vote last month.

The Shawnee Mission School District director of health services said 35 percent of the district’s students admit to vaping on a daily basis.

“Without nicotine, our kids, while they’re at school, are jittery, anxious and irritable. Our kids are telling us they cannot make it through the school day without vaping due to this addiction,” said Shelby Rebeck, who represents Shawnee Mission schools on the Kansas Board of Education’s Vaping and E-cigarette Task Force.

The district’s lawsuit will argue Juul marketed to children with advertising and social media campaigns and got students addicted to the nicotine in its products by selling flavors children would like, and creating e-cigarettes masked as flash drives or other school supplies.

As a result, nurses, counselors, social workers, and administrators at the district have had to focus on vaping instead of their normal job functions.

Rebeck said Juul is the largest e-cigarette manufacturer in the country.

Juul has previously said it has an aggressive campaign to combat underage vaping and supports laws banning nicotine for anyone under the age of 21.

Separately, a man in Johnson County joined a class action lawsuit against JUUL. He argues he started vaping in high school which lead to health problems.

And in Missouri, a mother and daughter also filed a lawsuit against Juul.