Does JUUL Cause Lung Cancer?
By Madeline May |
Juul vape settlement with over 10,000 plaintiffs is said to total $1.7 billion. Discover if Juuls cause lung cancer and treatment options.
Juul Vape Settlement Lawsuits and Lung Cancer
If you were diagnosed with lung cancer and are a Juul vape user, the two may be connected. Juul Labs, an e-cigarette maker, has reached settlements covering more than 5,000 cases with more than 10,000 plaintiffs related to its vaping products. The plaintiffs had several reasons for their claims including Juul users getting sick, younger generations using vapes, and minorities being targeted in Juul advertisements. Experts state that the Juul vape settlement will total $1.7 billion.
Scientists still do not understand the full scope of the effects of e-cigarettes, yet many signs point to Juul possibly leading to lung cancer. Learn about Juul vape settlements and if e-cigarettes cause lung cancer.
History of Juul in U.S.
Juul introduced its products to the United States market in 2015 and quickly became the most popular e-cigarette brand, making up over 70% of the market by 2019. Vapes are posed as a “healthier” version of regular cigarettes as they are said to have fewer chemicals and do not produce a typical “smoke” smell. Although many believe e-cigarettes and vaping to be safer than traditional cigarettes, Juul has had a history with the FDA.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered Juul Labs to remove all its e-cigarette products from the U.S. market. This ban came to fruition as the FDA issued marketing denial orders (MDOs) to Juul Labs for all their currently marketed products in the U.S. The FDA states that Juul’s applications lacked sufficient evidence regarding the toxicology product profiles. Juul’s e-cigarettes came in fruit and candy flavors, becoming popular with young teenagers who had not previously tried tobacco products.
According to the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey from the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2 million middle and high school students use e-cigarettes. Flavored pods such as creme brulee and cherry appealed more to younger generations. To combat this issue, the FDA removed most flavored vape pods from the market.
How Does Smoking a Juul Affect Your Body?
Juul products have a variety of health risks and side effects from the hundreds of chemicals that make up their nicotine pods. Juul products have high levels of nicotine, making them highly addictive. Nicotine has addictive qualities because when nicotine causes the release of dopamine in the brain, giving people feelings of happiness. People continue to crave this “high” and continue to smoke cigarettes and other nicotine products, like Juuls. A Juul pod containing 5% nicotine equals one pack of regular cigarettes. These high levels of nicotine can lead to overuse, addiction, increase of nicotine toxicity and seizures, and can also lead to neurological issues.
In addition to nicotine, smokers also inhale thousands of chemicals when vaping, which doctors have linked to a number of different diseases and complications. Toxic chemicals and metals found in e-cigarettes include:
- Propylene glycol
- Diethylene glycol
E-cigarettes can worsen cardiovascular issues such as increasing the risk for heart conditions, blood clots, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. Additionally, vaping and similar nicotine products can cause respiratory cancers and smoker’s lung.
Juul Settlement States
Backlash and lawsuits from schools, families, and politicians forced Juul to stop advertising its products and discontinuing many flavors in 2019, however, outrage has remained steady. Additionally, the FDA rejected Juul’s application to keep its products on the market, causing its future to be uncertain. In September 2022, Juul paid nearly $440 million for an internal marketing investigation pushed for by 33 states.
Juul’s largest investor, Altria, reduced its investments, releasing plans to compete on their own within the e-cigarette market. Altria is one of the world’s largest producers of tobacco and its related products. Altria removing its investments in vaping products caused Juul to lose a large percentage of its investments and presented the start of a potential company downfall.
Juul is now facing suits brought by Juul users and their families, school districts, and Native American tribes. Native Americans have one of the highest tobacco usage rates in the country and it’s said that Juul unfairly targeted them in their marketing efforts. In December 2022, the e-cigarette manufacturer announced it had reached Juul vape settlements for nearly 10,000 plaintiffs and 5,000 cases. The Juul settlement claim includes legal compensation for those suffering from nicotine addiction and other health conditions like lung cancer. In addition, the company will reimburse those who purchased Juul products. Plaintiffs as well as schools and communities across the country will receive resources for fighting nicotine addiction. The funds and resources from the settlement will help communities to hire counselors and dedicate educational equipment to mitigate vaping.
The company did not explicitly release the Juul vape settlement amount, but experts say the suit will cost Juul a total of $1.7 billion.
Do Juuls Cause Lung Damage?
Vaping and lung disease have a direct link, but the scientific and medical communities are still learning about the correlation. Additionally, those exposed to secondhand vape smoke may be at risk for similar conditions.
Vaping is also associated with “popcorn lung” another name for bronchiolitis obliterans (BO). People refer to it as popcorn lung because popcorn factory workers were the first to be diagnosed. Diacetyl, an ingredient in Juuls, was a food additive used to stimulate butter flavor in microwave popcorn and lead to damage in the lungs’ small airways. Common side effects of BO include:
- Chest and lung pain
- Breathlessness and shortness of breath
Another vaping-related condition is lipoid pneumonia. Infection is the cause of classic pneumonia; however, lipoid pneumonia develops when fatty acids enter the lungs. E-cigarette liquid has oily substances that you inhale when smoking, sparking an inflammatory response in the lungs. Typical symptoms of lipoid pneumonia include:
- Chronic dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing up blood
- Blood-tinged mucus
Collapsed lung after consistent vaping is very common as blisters located on top of the lungs rupture. This rupture creates small tears, in which oxygen can escape, resulting in primary spontaneous pneumothorax. Signs of a collapsed lung are:
- Sharp chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Shoulder pain
Data has shown that Juuls have the potential to increase the risk of lung cancer and throat cancer. Experts have found a direct correlation between many ingredients within vapes and an increase in the risk of cancers. Although many believe there to be a connection between vaping and lung cancer, there is little known because vaping e-cigarettes is so new.
Am I Eligible for a Juul Vape Settlement?
If you received a diagnosis as a smoker, there are treatments available for lung cancer and other lung diseases. If you are worried about how smoking will affect your lung cancer or treatment, we can help. We understand how treating your lung cancer after experiencing symptoms or receiving an official diagnosis, can be a daunting journey. Get in touch with a respiratory specialist today to learn what treatment options are best for you and your condition. Additionally, if you are a Juul user with lung cancer, you may be eligible for monetary damages through a Juul vape settlement.