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JUUL Damage & Side Effects

Vaping is being linked with heart attack, stroke, lung damage and new lung diseases, asthma, seizures and more.


JUUL Labs is the manufacturer of JUUL vape devices and JUUL vape pods.  JUUL is available in multiple kid-friendly flavors such as fruit flavors and dessert flavors.  Riding a large and successful marketing campaign aimed at young Americans, JUUL has grown to capture the vast majority of the American vaping market, hooking tens of millions of teens and young adults on nicotine.  Nicotine use among children has increased several hundred percent since JUUL was introduced to the market.

Unfortunately, despite JUUL advertising their vape devices as “safe” to children at schools, vaping is proving to be very unsafe, with a potential risk factor similar to traditional cigarettes. The risks of nicotine addiction and vaping include addiction, seizures, heart attack, stroke, asthma, pneumonia and death.

Clark & DiStefano is the premiere Vaping Injury law firm in New Jersey and are ready to file suit, on behalf of  families of victims who were injured or died from vaping.  We are connected with the top law firms in the United States investigating hundreds of additional cases of heart attack, stroke, asthma, underage addiction, and lung infections including pneumonia.

If you or a loved one was injured after vaping or juuling, contact the JUUL lawyers at Clark & DiStefano today. You can reach us at 1-888-LAW-JUUL ijbraaten@braatenllc.com, or through this page. We offer free consultations and only charge a fee if there is a recovery.

Contact Us About Your JUUL Case 1-888-LAW-JUUL

Was the user a minor while using JUUL? (Under 18)

Did the minor experience any of the following are using JUUL?

JUUL Nicotine Addiction and the Underage Brain

While JUUL heavily marketed its product as a safe alternative to traditional combustible cigarettes, despite lacking the data to support this statement, the often-overlooked ingredient, nicotine, should not be ignored.  Particularly among users under the age of 26.

Because nicotine is not cancer causing in and of itself, its harmful effects are frequently unknown by the general public.  The lack of awareness is also is due, in part, to the tobacco industry’s decades-long denial that nicotine is addictive.  It was not until the Surgeon General issued a report on nicotine addiction in 1988 that there was a consensus that nicotine is highly addictive.[1]   Not only did the report conclude nicotine is highly addictive; it also concluded the physiological and behavioral processes that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those that determine heroin and cocaine addiction.[2]

Nicotine poses particular harm to youth and young adult smokers.  The human brain is not fully developed until age 25.  Nicotine from e-cigarettes, like Juul, can lead to addiction, harm to brain development, and change the way the brain functions in users under the age of 26.[3]  It fosters addiction via the brain’s “reward” pathway.  Nicotine, both a stimulant and a relaxant, affects the central nervous system; increases blood pressure, pulse, and metabolic rate; constricts blood vessels of the hair and skin; and causes muscle relaxation.

When nicotine is inhaled, it enters the bloodstream through membranes in the mouth and upper respiratory tract through the lungs.  Once in the bloodstream, nicotine reaches the brain, binds to receptors, and triggers a series of physiologic effects in the user that are perceived as a “buzz” or “high” that can induce happiness, arousal, and reduction of stress and anxiety.  These effects are caused by the release of dopamine, acetylcholine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, vasopressin, serotonin, and beta endorphin.  With regular nicotine use, these feelings diminish over time and the user must consume increasingly larger amounts of nicotine to achieve the same pleasurable effect.

Once the brain is addicted to nicotine, the absence of it causes compulsive, drug-seeking behavior.  It also causes withdrawal symptoms, which include but are not limited to suicidal ideation, anxiety, depression, irritability, mood swings, stress, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, headaches, insomnia, heart palpitations, and tremors.  Nicotine affects neurological development in adolescents, and exposure to nicotine during adolescence produces an increased vulnerability to nicotine addiction.[4]

Adolescent nicotine addiction causes “substantial neural remodeling,” including those parts of the brain governed by dopamine or acetylcholine, which play central roles in reward functioning and cognitive function.  Adolescent smokers are found to have weakened neural responses including “diminished sensitivity to non-drug rewards.”[5]  Other brain changes from nicotine include increased sensitivity to other drugs and heightened impulsivity.  “Brain imaging on adolescents suggest that those who begin smoking regularly at a young age…perform less well on tasks related to memory and attention compared to people who don’t smoke.”[6]

Brain imaging studies of adolescents who began smoking at a young age also showed markedly reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, an area critical for a person’s cognitive behavior and decision making, leading to increased sensitivity to other drugs and greater impulsivity.[7]  In short, nicotine use among youth and young adults can affect a child’s attention, memory, and cognition; and nicotine likely underlies the aforementioned impairments in attentional and cognitive function.[8]  Youth e-cigarette smokers report feelings of restlessness, irritability, heightened cravings, and anxiety.[9]   A 2016 Surgeon General’s report found youth use of nicotine in any form, including via Juul and other e-cigarettes, is unsafe, causes addiction, and can harm the developing adolescent brain.[10]

Another reason Juul poses a unique threat to teens is its patented formula of nicotine. While other brands use a chemically modified form called “freebase nicotine,” Juul uses “nicotine salts” that more closely resemble the natural structure of nicotine found in tobacco leaves. This makes the nicotine more readily absorbed into the bloodstream and makes the vapor less harsh so that it is easier to inhale more nicotine for longer periods of time.

In addition to this patented formula, Juul pods contain a greater amount of benzoic acid, 44.8 mg/mL, compared to other e-cigarette brands, which are in the range of 0.2 to 2 mg/mL. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), benzoic acid is known to cause coughs, sore throat, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting if exposure is constant, which is the case when using a Juul.[11]   This is due to how Juuls utilize the properties of benzoic acid to increase the potency of the nicotine salts in its e-liquid.

Whether the cognitive deficits associated with nicotine use are lifelong or can be reversed with discontinued use remains to be determined.  What we do know is that the brain of adolescents reacts differently to nicotine exposure than that of adults.  Given that a youth’s successes or failures during adolescence can forever change the trajectory of one’s life – engaging in criminal behavior, using or abusing other drugs in addition to nicotine, substantial decreases in academic performance, etc. – it is important that the public, including youth, their parents, and teachers, know the risks associated with Juul and the significant impacts it can have on one’s life and relationships.


[1] The Health Consequences of Smoking: Nicotine Addiction (USDHHS 1988).

[2] Id.

[3] Neal L. Benowitz, Pharmacology of Nicotine: Addiction, Smoking-Induced Disease, and Therapeutics, 49 Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology 57 (2009); Mariam Arain et al., Maturation of The Adolescent Brain, 9 Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 449 (2013).

[4] Id.

[5] Id.

[6] Erin Brodwin, An E-Cigarette with Twice the Nicotine of Comparable Devices is Taking Over High Schools – and Scientists are Sounding the Alarm, Business Insider (April 30, 2018), https://www.businessinsider.com/juul-e-cig-vaping-health-effects-2018-3

[7] Musso F, Bettermann F, Vucurevic G, et al. (2007). Smoking impacts on prefrontal attentional network function in young adult brains. Psychopharmacology. 2007;191(1): 159-169.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16937098

[8] E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults (USDHHS 2016).

[9] Piasecki TM, Hedeker D, Dierker LC, Mermelstein RJ. Progression of nicotine dependence, mood level, and mood variability in adolescent smokers. Psychol Addict Behav. 2016.

[10] E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults (USDHHS 2016).

[11] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Safety material data sheet: Benzoic acid. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ipcsneng/neng0103.html

No Fee Unless There is a Recovery

If you have suffered a serious vape injury or a family member has a serious vape addiction, contact the vape lawyers at Clark & DiStefano. We investigate cases of vaping lung injury, vaping lung infection, vape mod battery fire, seizure from vaping, stroke from vaping, heart attack caused by vaping, and addiction in minors and young adults.

Contact us at 1-888-LAW-JUUL, jbraaten@braatenllc.com, or through this page.

Learn More About Vaping Side Effects

Heart Attack



Lung Damage

JUUL Illegal Marketing to Children

Due to decades of anti-tobacco campaigns, teen cigarette use declined substantially in the last 40 years and has reached an all-time low. But Big Tobacco is back at it again, finding new ways to profit at the detriment of teenagers. This time, the makers of Marlboro have joined forces with e-cigarette manufacturer, Juul Labs.

Juul found loopholes to keep its e-cigarette device out of the scope of the heavy regulations that controlled traditional cigarette marketing and advertising.  It developed and marketed a highly addictive e-cigarette product that could be packaged and sold to teens, as they are the most susceptible to nicotine addiction and highly likely to become life-long customers.  Juul manipulated the nicotine in its product to maximize addictiveness, while simultaneously removing the deterring qualities of traditional cigarettes such as the bad odor and irritation to one’s throat and lungs.

JUUL Labs had great success in their campaign to increase vaping, children vaping at school has increased nearly 250% in just two years, and vaping is now six times as common as cigarette use was before JUUL found success on the market.

Despite Juul’s recent contentions, a review of Juul’s prior marketing campaigns and design features make it clear that youth were the primary targeted demographic.  It looks nothing like a regular cigarette, and in fact looks like a USB drive – thus making it easy for kids to hide from their parents and teachers.  The scent does not linger on the body or breath like traditional cigarettes.  The Juul device heats a nicotine-filled liquid stored in a “Juul pod” which is sold separately from the device.  Juul pods come in kid-friendly flavors like mango, cool mint, fruit, and crème brulee.  For years, Juul sold its flavored product without any warning that it contained nicotine.  It delivers significantly higher concentrations of nicotine per puff than regular cigarettes.  In fact, one Juul pod contains even more nicotine than an entire pack of cigarettes.

Juul’s marketing tactics were specifically tailored to appeal to kids.  In 2015, Juul launched its “Vaporized” campaign advertising its product being used by young, cool, and attractive models.  Juul admitted that it looked at Big Tobacco’s historical marketing to come up with its own marketing plan. It did what Big Tobacco could no longer do – including advertising in New York’s Times Square with 12 brightly-colored billboards flashing images of young, attractive models enthusiastically vaping.  Juul threw 25 “launch parties” between July and December 2015 in New York, LA, Las Vegas and Miami, where it gave away over 125,000 Juul devices for free.

Again, a marketing strategy that Big Tobacco used to use that it was now prohibited from employing.  Juul invited social media influencers to attend these launch parties to popularize the Juul product, and set up animated GIF booths so that these influencers could take pictures and then share them with their millions of young social media followers.

Juul used hashtags like #JUUL, #JUULnation, #Mango, and #Coolmint to reach the teen market on Twitter and Instragram, and allowed other accounts like @JuulNation to post tips and videos about “juuling,” including how to “juul in school.”

Juul unleashed an epidemic of youth vaping in ways other than social media as well.  It offered $10,000 to schools nationwide for a chance to enter schools and promote its product directly to teens in the classroom.  Juul also targeted kids it knew to be underage by sending follow-up marketing emails to visitors who had been kicked off the website due to 18+ age restrictions.

“What Juul did that’s different is it exploited social media, where American middle and high school kids live.  That was their innovation.” 

Robert Jackler

Professor, Stanford School of Medicine

“To say that juul use happened by accident or was nobody’s fault…I think is a little naïve…People were positioning these in a way in the marketplace that was appealing to kids.   Damage is done, trend is underway.” 

Scott Gottlieb

Former Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration

James S. Braaten

James S. Braaten

Product Liability & Toxic Tort Attorney

James Braaten, Esq. is Of Counsel to Clark & DiStefano, and a Senior Litigation Counsel for the firm.  Mr. Braaten has over 25+ years of experience in litigating Products Liability, Mass Torts and Toxic Torts.  Mr. Braaten has a unique background.  He started his career in 1994 as a defense litigator in Products Liability, Mass Torts and Toxic Torts. For over 18 years, he was the National Coordinating Counsel (“NCC”), Regional Counsel and Trial Counsel in mass torts and complex products liability matters for a number of Fortune 500 companies.

If you or a loved one was injured after vaping or juuling, contact the JUUL lawyers at Clark & DiStefano today. You can reach us at 1-609-719-1901, jbraaten@braatenllc.com, or through this page. We offer free consultations and only charge a fee if there is a recovery.

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