Teens Targeted with E-Cigs by Big Tobacco
You may remember the days when Big Tobacco employed widespread youth marketing campaigns like cartoon characters, sporting legends and movie stars who all smoked. Smoking was once marketed as safe.
By the time regulations curtailed Big Tobacco advertising methods it was too late - millions of Americans were addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes. Today, vaping manufacturers use marketing tactics of old to sell e-cigarettes, which are also defective and dangerous to health.
Big Tobacco’s marketing practices caused a surge in e-cigarette use among teenagers. They’ve been told or are led to believe e-cigs were healthier than cigarettes because they were vapor-based, and not combustible. They were also told that the chemicals in e-cigs were less toxic than traditional cigarettes. Some companies even went as far as saying e-cigs could help people quit smoking!
The reality of the situation has proven otherwise. Data shows that e-cigs appeal to youth, who are using them at an alarming rate. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has recorded that about 16% of high school seniors use e-cigs and vape devices, and nearly 10% of 8th graders do as well. On top of that troubling statistic, 31% of e-cig users will start smoking within the next six months of using a vape device.
Why are teens and kids picking up e-cigs at such a high rate? Simply put: Because they are being targeted by vaping manufacturers. Vapes were sold in flavors like mango, peppermint, and bubblegum. Why are companies trying to sell these products to kids? Because they contain nicotine, which causes addiction and turns children into future smokers.
Juul & Big Tobacco Team Up
JUUL, the nation’s most popular e-cig brand, studied Big Tobacco’s youth marketing playbook to capture a dominant e-cig market share. In December 2018, Altria, which owns the Marlboro brand – the country’s most popular traditional cigarette, purchased a 35% share of JUUL.
One of Altria’s first moves was to arrange to have retailers place JUUL vaping devices right next to Marlboro cigarettes at the counter. The companies have also synced their marketing campaigns and package designs. Health authorities are appropriately concerned that this will erase advancements in reducing youth smoking rates.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called Altria’s stake in JUUL a direct threat to the “progress [of] reducing youth e-cigarette use.” The growing popularity of youth vaping has been labeled as a “public health epidemic” by the FDA. Notably, 11 U.S. Senators recently mailed a letter to JUUL that requested company documents related to advertising practices, and that asked 13 multipoint questions on the intent behind JUUL’s collaboration with Altria. The Senators’ letter puts pressure on JUUL and Big Tobacco, but it remains to be seen whether the companies will cooperate.
Why Use Lawsuits to Curb the E-Cig Problem?
Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. is hearing from parents who have children that smoke and may be addicted to e-cigs. We are taking legal action e-cigarette companies and Big Tobacco, where appropriate, for misleading advertisements and dishonest business practices that target the youth with a dangerous product.
We believe that legal action is an effective way to bring justice and remedy this situation. We aim to prevent the nicotine epidemic from happening to today’s youth.
Do you have a teen who may be addicted to e-cigarettes or vaping devices? Our e-cig lawsuit attorneys from Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale would like to hear from you. Call (954) 467-8800 or contact us online now to learn about your rights, those of your child, and how you can begin your claim against Big Tobacco and e-cig companies with the help of a highly experienced legal team.