The City and County of Denver recently filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against e-cigarette and vaping-product manufacturers, seeking damages and relief for the public health crisis caused by the manufacturers’ wrongful and deceptive conduct.
The lawsuit claims the manufacturers’ aggressively marketed their products to youth. It was filed against the makers and parent companies of JUUL and similar products, and the lawsuit will be consolidated with a case pending against the defendants in San Francisco.
Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris USA, used lobbyists and other methods to protect JUUL’s market share.
The manufacturers insist JUUL was never marketed to youth, but the lawsuit counters this claim.
“As we battle COVID-19, pulmonary health has never been more important,” Kristin M. Bronson, Denver city attorney, said. “Sadly, scientific studies indicate the disease could pose a greater risk to young people who have been using the defendants’ harmful products. We are more focused than ever on fulsome abatement strategies combating the youth vaping epidemic. The defendants helped cause it, so they can help us pay for it.”
In 2013, 11 percent of Denver area high school students reported trying an e-cigarette. Four years later, this spiked to 40 percent.