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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

COMPTON—The District alleges schools are overwhelmed by managing pervasive “juuling” use which has increased by tenfold since 2013.

The Compton Unified School District has filed suit against JUUL Labs, Inc. claiming the company for “cultivating and fostering” an e-cigarette epidemic that has invaded schools The suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

These suits come shortly after lawsuits were filed by the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Glendale Unified School District against JUUL for the same negligence and nuisance claims.

The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief and an abatement remedy to combat the e-cigarette epidemic, which has severely impacted the school districts by interfering with normal school operations. The District is also seeking compensatory damages to provide relief from the district’s financial losses as a result of students being absent from school, coordinating outreach and education programs regarding the health risks of vaping, and enforcement actions—such as vape detectors, video surveillance, and staff to monitor the school’s property in an effort to combat the e-cigarette crisis.

“This dangerous culture created by JUUL has now triggered a resurgence of nicotine addiction and severe health issues amongst our youth,” said Plaintif’s attorney, John Fiske, an attorney with the firm of Baron & Budd.

“JUUL must be held accountable for their blatant disregard of the health and safety of these students,” Fiske said.

"Joining of the Districts further confirms the systemic and widespread vaping epidemic that continues to challenge school resources throughout the country and put the health and safety of students at risk," said Panish Shea & Boyle LLP partner Rahul Ravipudi..

"JUUL is responsible for fueling this epidemic with their marketing tactics, flavored nicotine, and sleek, tech-oriented products and must be held accountable for its role in targeting the youth of America."

Since entering the market in 2015, JUUL has dominated the e-cigarette industry and now controls over 70% of the market. Reports found that in 2018, 4.9 million middle and high school students used tobacco products, with 3.6 million of those students using e-cigarettes. From 2017 to 2018, youth e-cigarette users increased by 1.5 million. That growth is largely based on JUUL’s market strategy, which is to target school-age children to ensure the continual growth of their consumer base.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that the 2018 spike in nicotine vaping was the largest for any substance recorded in 44 years. JUUL’s aggressive, strategic marketing and product designs not only create an addiction crisis among youth consumers, but also a widespread burden on school districts.