E-cigarette makers are being slapped with a lawsuit for allegedly marketing their products to minors.
Juul Labs Inc. and Philip Morris USA Inc. were accused of doing illegal marketing of their nicotine products to minors. The lawsuit was filed by 19-year-old Christian Foss in the federal court in Chicago. Foss said that his addiction to nicotine stemmed from using Juul’s e-cigarette at 16. Since then, he has suffered worsening asthma symptoms. He aims to represent all the minors in Illinois who suffer the same addiction that he has.
Violation of the RICO act
Juul and Philip Morris violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act as they aimed their catchy ad campaigns to children. The lawsuit mentioned that the companies are copying Big Tobacco’s previous marketing campaigns that prey on the innocent minds of the youths for their personal gain. They glamorized the products and took out the back effects it has on one’s health. It adopted a youth-oriented image in social media and influenced the minds of the youths in the process.
Juul hasn’t released an official statement regarding the suit.
The pressure is on Juul
The company is now facing pressure for its popularity among underage users. While they tried to alleviate the situation by improving their age-verification process and stopping flavored vapes in retail stores, still their efforts are in vain. It’s now a major player in the youth e-cigarette use investigation by the US House Oversight and Reform Committee.
Effects of vape
E-cigarettes have several bad effects on one’s health and the community. Nicotine is addictive and it’s the primary agent in vape. The typical Juul e-cigarette pod has as much nicotine as a that of a pack of 20 regular cigarettes.
A user can crave for it and may suffer from withdrawal syndrome if the user stops. Despite vapes being marketed as a tool to help with smoking addiction, it’s good to note that it’s not an FDA approved device to help you stop smoking altogether.
The users of the vape are also alarming. In 2015, the US Surgeon general reported that users of vapes among high school students have increased to 900%. The study claimed it to be an epidemic of the youths.
What does this tell you?
As marketers and advertisers, it is imperative to know your products inside and out for you to identify the market that you can target. This is a reminder for parents to take aggressive steps to protect their children from high-risk products.