UPDATED 5:40 PM PST – Sunday, October 20, 2019
A Florida mom is suing Juul labs over the death of her son. The suit is claiming the company hooked David Wakefield on the e-cigarettes that caused his death.
The 18-year-old died in his sleep last year following years of Juul use. The lawsuit is reportedly the first of its kind against the company.
This comes amid rising concern surrounding e-cigarette use. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that there have been 33 deaths and 1,479 vaping related lung injury cases so far. 79 percent of the vaping related illnesses reportedly occurred in those under the age of 35.
A recent report from the Los Angeles Times found the FDA pushed to ban flavored fluids for e-cigarettes as early as 2012, during the Obama administration. The surgeon general issued a warning that tobacco companies were purposely using fruity flavors to get children hooked on e-cigarettes.
The FDA drafted a ban on flavored e-cigarettes in November 2015 and submitted it to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). During that time, the OMB allegedly met with more than 100 tobacco industry lobbyists and advocates. By the time the FDA’s final rule on e-cigarettes was released in May 2016, the flavor ban was gone. The ruling also left out 15 pages of FDA evidence, which showed that flavored tobacco use would increase among teens and young adults.
After the new rules took effect, sales for popular e-cigarette manufacturer Juul skyrocketed by 640 percent. Currently, one-in-four high school teenagers use a vape. Doctors are urging people to stop vaping and are asking the FDA to take action.