JUUL Dangers

JUUL Labs, Inc. is arguably the most prominent and well-known vaping company in the United States. The company manufactures USB-like e-cigarette devices with varying amounts of nicotine. Though JUUL’s website states that its mission is to help adult smokers quit using cigarettes, the company has been at the forefront of multiple lawsuits in the past two years. Current JUUL lawsuits involve teen nicotine addiction and deceptive, youth-focused marketing.

What Is a JUUL?

juul e-cigarette and refills

A JUUL is an e-cigarette device manufactured by JUUL Labs, Inc.

In 2017, PAX Labs, the parent company of JUUL Labs, Inc., made JUUL into an independent company after the device’s quick rise to prominence.

In no time at all, JUUL took the vaping industry by storm.

In fact, as of January 2019, the company has a market share of nearly 76%, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. Further, one of JUUL’s major investors is the top-selling cigarette maker in the United States, Altria Group Inc.

Today, JUUL has become a household name — and, as of 2018, roughly 1 in 5 high school students reported using e-cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Are JUULs Bad for You?

In short, yes, JUUL e-cigarettes are harmful to your health. According to the CDC, the aerosol inhaled and exhaled from the device may contain numerous harmful substances.

Harmful substances in JUUL e-cigarettes may include:

  • Diacetyl and other flavoring chemicals
  • Heavy metals such as lead, nickel, and tin
  • Nicotine
  • Ultrafine particles
  • Volatile organic compounds

How Much Nicotine Is in a JUUL?

A JUULpod contains the e-liquid that turns into an aerosol (nicknamed a “vape”) when heated.

The CDC states that the average JUULpod contains around the same amount of nicotine as 20 traditional tobacco cigarettes — an entire pack. Sadly, the agency also reports that it takes only 50-60 milligrams of nicotine to kill a 150-pound adult.

History of JUUL

  • May 2015: JUUL Labs, Inc. was founded.
  • July 2017: JUUL becomes an independent company from PAX Labs.
  • April 2018: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requests internal company documents to better understand the youth appeal of JUUL products.
  • April 2018: JUUL’s deceptive marketing becomes the focus of two Californian lawsuits.
  • July 2018: JUUL achieves a valuation of $15 Billion.
  • September 2018: The FDA gives JUUL 60 days to devise plans to combat underage e-cigarette use.
  • November 2018: JUUL stops retail sales of mango, fruit, creme, and cucumber JUULpods — favorite flavors of younger audiences.
  • December 2018: JUUL employs roughly 1,500 employees.
  • December 2018: Altria Group Inc. purchases 35% of JUUL for $12.8 Billion.
  • January 2019: JUUL announces a marketing campaign that targets adult cigarette smokers.
  • June 2019: The U.S. House of Representatives begins investigating JUUL’s business deal with Altria Group Inc. and its youth-focused social media and marketing.
  • June 2019: San Francisco bans the online and retail sale of e-cigarettes.
  • August 2019: A Chicago law firm files a nationwide class-action lawsuit against JUUL concerning teen nicotine addiction.
  • September 2019: JUUL CEO steps down to be replaced by a senior executive of Altria, the maker of  Marlboro cigarettes.

JUUL Vape Side Effects

JUUL e-cigarettes — created by two former smokers and designed to be a safe alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes — are not as safe as once thought. In fact, the CDC has already uncovered multiple health risks.

Harmful side effects of JUULs may include: 

  • Nicotine addiction: JUULpods contain 3-5% nicotine strength, according to the company’s website. Before JUUL’s conception, the most popular e-cigarettes contained 1-2.4% nicotine strengths. JUULs deliver nicotine up to 2.7 times faster than other e-cigarettes, according to the product’s maker. High nicotine strengths combined with high nicotine absorption rates decrease the amount of time it takes for users to become addicted to the drug, according to a study in Tobacco Control.
  • Respiratory issues: A January 2018 report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine stated that e-cigarettes contain and release various toxic substances — such as acetaldehyde, acrolein, formaldehyde, and diacetyl — that may be harmful to human health. The report also concluded that e-cigarettes increase the risk of coughing, wheezing, and worsening asthma symptoms.
  • Stroke: 22-year-old Maxwell Berger became addicted to JUUL e-cigarettes in the summer of 2015. By 2017, the young man was vaping two pods daily — equivalent to around two packs of cigarettes. In July 2017, Berger suffered a severe hemorrhagic stroke, which required three brain surgeries and caused permanent injuries such as partial paralysis, speech impairment, and partial vision loss in both eyes.

Is Second-Hand JUUL Smoke Bad for You?

Yes — teenagers especially should be wary of second-hand JUUL “smoke.”

A 2016 report from the U.S. Surgeon General states that second-hand e-cigarette emissions contain:

  • Diacetyl and other flavoring chemicals
  • Heavy metals, such as lead, nickel, and tin
  • Nicotine
  • Ultrafine particles
  • Volatile organic compounds, such as benzene

What Parents Need to Know About JUULing

A study published in Tobacco Control found that those aged 15-17 are 16 times more likely to be current users of JUUL products than those aged 25-34.

If you are concerned that your child may be using JUUL products or other e-cigarettes, check out common questions and answers about JUUL below.

What does a JUUL look like?

JUUL devices look similar to a computer USB drive, thumb drive, or flash drive. The devices are long, thin, and typically gray rectangular prisms.

How can I tell if my child is JUULing?

JUUL e-cigarettes were designed to be sleek and easy to conceal.

That said, you may be able to determine whether your child is JUULing by watching for these signs:

  • Receiving unfamiliar packages in the mail
  • Smelling sweet scents such as chocolate cake or bubble gum
  • Increased thirst and/or nose bleeds in your child
  • Decreased caffeine use
  • Using vaping slang around friends or in text messages
  • Changes in appearance and behavior

How can I help my child quit JUULing?

Parents can use the following tips to help their child quit vaping:

JUUL Lawsuits and Legal Options

Today, JUUL Labs, Inc. is facing lawsuits from Illinois, Florida, North Carolina, and more.

Most recently, a 19-year-old from Illinois filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that JUUL products were designed and marketed to appeal to middle and high schoolers.

If you or your child used a JUUL product and, as a result, developed an addiction or illness, you should explore your vaping legal options. Financial compensation to help pay for medical expenses, addiction treatments, and more may be available to you.

You can hold JUUL accountable — start a free case review today.

Author:Vape Danger Editorial Team
Vape Danger Editorial Team

Vape Danger helps people understand the dangers of vape and e-cigarette products. Vaping devices are marketed as a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes. However, vape pens and other devices may cause serious injuries and illnesses. The Vape Danger editorial team provides the latest studies and data to help readers make informed health and legal choices.

Last modified: January 29, 2023

View 5 References
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  2. Craver, R. (2019, January 08). Juul ends 2018 with 76 percent market share. Retrieved from https://www.journalnow.com/business/juul-ends-with-percent-market-share/article_6f50f427-19ec-50be-8b0c-d3df18d08759.html

  3. First evidence of long-term health damage from ecigs: Smoking E-Cigarettes Daily Doubles Risk of Heart Attacks. (2018, February 24). Retrieved from https://tobacco.ucsf.edu/first-evidence-long-term-health-damage-ecigs-smoking-e-cigarettes-daily-doubles-risk-heart-attacks

  4. New study reveals teens 16 times more likely to use JUUL than older age groups. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://truthinitiative.org/press/press-release/new-study-reveals-teens-16-times-more-likely-use-juul-older-age-groups

  5. Quick Facts on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults | CDC. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/Quick-Facts-on-the-Risks-of-E-cigarettes-for-Kids-Teens-and-Young-Adults.html#two