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Mississippi school district suing Juul amid rise in youth vaping

Photo by News Mississippi

A Mississippi school district is suing a popular e-cigarette company as concerns regarding youth vaping continue to grow.

A lawsuit filed by the Jefferson County School District alleges that Juul’s marketing strategy has led to teenagers becoming addicted to their e-cigarette products and directly contributed to the rise in vaping-related lung illnesses. 

“Defendants’ marketing strategy, advertising, and product design targets minors, especially teenagers, and has dramatically increased the use of e-cigarettes amongst minors, like the student body in Jefferson County School District. Defendants’ conduct has caused many students to become addicted to Defendants’ e-cigarette products. Plaintiff, and similarly situated school districts in Mississippi, redirected resources to combat the deceptive marketing scheme of Defendants and to educate the school children of the true dangers of e-cigarettes.”

The full lawsuit can be read by clicking here – Juul Lawsuit

Altria, the company that owns Juul, is also listed as a defendant along with Philip Morris, and Nu Mark.

According to the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, attorneys are looking to have the lawsuit certified as a class-action suit on behalf of all Mississippi school districts.

As of December 3rd, the CDC states that nearly 2,300 cases of the vaping-related lung illness have been confirmed across the county with 48 deaths. So far, Mississippi has reported 11 cases of the illness and one death. 

In the suit, the district claims that it has been affected by a surge in youth vaping, and they attribute that surge to JUUL’s “misconduct.” 

“Jefferson County Public School District principals and administrators have observed numerous ways that JUUL use has affected the School District, including impacts on curriculum development and class time, increased security staff time spent addressing discipline and supervision issues, and increased counselor time spent speaking to addicted students and peers who are concerned about this epidemic.”

The MCPP explains that the school district “is seeking an unspecified amount of money to pay for counselors and various education programs, damages, and attorney fees.”

Similar lawsuits have been filed by school districts in Kansas, Missouri, New York, and Washington. 

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