SC school board to file suit against Juul for vaping epidemic

South Carolina News

FILE – In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018 file photo, Juul products are displayed at a smoke shop in New York. On Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, the company announced it will voluntarily stop selling its fruit and dessert-flavored vaping pods. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) – The board of education for Horry County Schools voted to file a lawsuit against e-cigarette maker Juul for damages created by increased student vaping.

Board members claim the manufacturer of the vaping products has caused harm, including addiction and health problems in students as well as the financial burden faced by the school system. The lawsuit joins dozens of others filed against Juul Labs.

Among the claims in the lawsuit, according to the board, are that Juul falsely markets it products as a safer alternative to traditional tobacco products, targeting young consumers with colorful packaging and fruity flavors.

But the products are far from safe, the board stated in a release after the vote Monday night. Vaping exposes young people to “much higher concentrations of nicotine that make them feel even more addictive than traditional tobacco products, and have been linked to breathing and lung problems, seizures, serious lung injuries, respiratory diseases, hemorrhagic strokes, mental fog, and death.”

The lawsuit seeks damages and resources to combat vaping in the future. The suit also aims to recover the cost of prevention programs, counseling, and treatment of addicted students.

The HCS board is represented by Jeff Johnson Attorney at Law and the Stavrinakis Law Firm, who also have been associated with the firm Schochor, Federico and Staton, of Baltimore, which represents dozens of schools boards in South Carolina and around the country in their litigation against Juul.

The representation will come at no cost to taxpayers since the firms will work on a contingency basis, according to HCS.

WBTW News has reached out to Juul for a comment and will update this story with any additional information received.

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