New Jersey School District Latest To Join Juul E-Cigarette Class Action Suit

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Last month, Reuters reported that a federal judge selected six cases for a bellwether trial pitting local governments and school districts against beleaguered e-cigarette maker, JUUL. (A bellwether trial serves as a springboard for a large pool of similar lawsuits.) 

A New Jersey school district as of Monday became the latest to join a class-action suit against JUUL. Claims filed against the vape (e-cigarette) company allege that JUUL minimized the health risks of vaping to minors, and engaged in marketing practices that make e-cigarrettes attractive to underage kids. 

New Jersey’s Freehold School District, in filing the suit in a federal court, became at least the 130th school district in the nation to sue JUUL, which is based in Northern California. Co-defendant in the case is Altria, a tobacco maker with a major stake in JUUL, reports the New Jersey news website,

According to the suit, 10,000 students in the school district have openly used e-cigarette devices in school buildings. Nicotine-addicted students, the suit says, “have demonstrated anxious, distracted and acting out behaviors, causing disruption and diverting staff resources away from classroom instruction and requiring additional time and attention for addicted students.”

The Freehold School District listed some of the costs associated with youth vaping, including, 35 incidents of e-cigarette use or possession. Detention proctors are paid about $37 per hour to supervise students in the district  given detention for e-cigarette infractions. In addition, the six high schools in the district installed three vape detectors in each school, each of which cost $1,500. Another cost associated with the suit, are the 40 to 100 new security cameras for each school, which run about $300 apiece, per reporting. 

Another cost associated with the suit: plumbing. Maintenance staff have had to remove toilets in bathrooms to extract Juul vapes that were flushed and caused damage, according to the lawsuit. says that according to court papers, “Many youth use their e-cigarette devices with high frequency throughout the day — with some kids taking a puff as often as every few minutes.” Moreover, “Unlike a combustible cigarette with its telltale emissions of smoke and distinct smell, the Juul device and Juul-alikes allow kids to vape undetected behind closed doors and even behind their teachers’ backs in the classroom.” 

The Freehold Regional High School District alleges in court papers that Juul placed advertisements on “youth-oriented websites and social media channels, and that the company’s Tweets failed to mention the e-cigarettes contain addictive and harmful nicotine.”

In addition, Juul is accused of targeting retail locations that are popular among teens. The company also often gave away free products to get teenagers hooked, the lawsuit says, per 

School districts from San Francisco, Tucson, Washington, Florida, New Hampshire, and Kansas were selected for bellwether trials. 

As a result of litigation and regulation by the FTC, JUUL no longer markets e-cigarettes, and discontinued flavored vape juice (flavors of e-cigarettes) in 2019. The company still markets non-flavored e-cigarettes as well as menthol versions. 

According to, plaintiffs allege that JUULl’s products “are too addictive, its labeling and advertising lack necessary warnings and the company created a public nuisance that Juul should be required to help abate.” 

Consequently, JUUL has come under intense scrutiny from regulators, lawmakers and state attorneys general over the surging popularity of its products among teenagers in recent years, concludes.


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