SAN JOSE (KRON) – The Campbell Union High School District (CUHSD) filled a lawsuit Wednesday against Juul Labs, Inc. for allegedly fostering an e-cigarette epidemic that disrupts learning environments.
The suit comes in solidarity with same day filings in Chico and Davis, and follows school districts in Los Angeles, San Diego, Glendale, Compton, King City, Ceres and Anaheim for similar negligence and nuisance claims.
In addition to ending e-cigarette use at schools, CUHSD is also seeking damages for financial losses accrued from students being absent from class, school’s outreach and education programs and staff enforcement needed to monitor use.
“Juul marketed these dangerous and addictive products to youth without warning,” said CUHSD Superintendent Dr. Robert Bravo. “We are in the business of educating students, not cleaning up Juul’s health crisis.”
Since entering the market in 2015, Juul has grown to control over 70 percent of the vaping market, along with youth e-cigarette users growing to 3.6 million people in 2018.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse found that a spike in 1.5 million youth users from 2017 to 2018 was the largest for any substance recorded in 44 years.
“These ten school districts, which represent over 900,000 students, are part of a statewide movement to hold JUUL accountable for the expenditure of public and taxpayer resources required to respond to the vaping crisis,” said John Fiske, a Baron & Budd Shareholder, who’s firm is representing the joint suits. “School districts of all shapes and sizes are standing up for their student communities—from northern, central, and southern California, from urban, suburban, and rural communities, and from large, medium, and small in size—they are all standing up.”
San Francisco Unified, Livermore Valley Joint Unified, Cabrillo Unified, San Mateo-Foster City and Jefferson Union School Districts have also filed similar suits against Juul with another firm.
On December 17, 2019, Juul responded to KRON4 with a statement that reads, “we remain focused on resetting the vapor category in the U.S. and earning the trust of society by working cooperatively with attorneys general, regulators, public health officials, and other stakeholders to combat underage use and convert adult smokers from combustible cigarettes.
As part of that process, we recently stopped accepting orders for our Mint Juulpods in the U.S., suspended all broadcast, print, and digital product advertising in the U.S., are investing in scientific research to ensure the quality of our FDA Premarket Tobacco Product Application (PMTA) application and expanding our commitment to develop new technology to reduce youth use.
Our customer base is the world’s 1 billion adult smokers and we do not intend to attract underage users. To the extent these cases allege otherwise, they are without merit.”