Arizona teen’s lawsuit claims Juul got him addicted to nicotine

Dec 6, 2019, 4:45 AM
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)...
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

PHOENIX — An Arizona teen is suing one of the largest makers of e-cigarettes, claiming misleading ads got him addicted to nicotine.

The 36-page complaint obtained by KTAR News 92.3 FM states 19-year-old Omar Mejia suffers from “serious and dangerous side effects” and “diminished enjoyment of life” due to his nicotine addiction.

Mejia started using Juul products in 2016 when he was 16 years old. The company had been around for about a year and started an advertisement campaign the complaint calls “misleading.”

“The advertisements showed healthy, attractive young men and women using JUUL,” the complaint states. “The advertisements focused on the colorful devices and variety of flavors with no mention of the nicotine content.”

The complaint goes on to say Juul particularly targeted social media platforms used by adolescents and emailed ads to minors. According to the lawsuit, the Federal Trade Commission has “made it illegal to advertise products in a deceptive or misleading manner.”

Mejia is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

Mejia’s attorney and Juul did not respond to requests for comment.

KTAR News legal expert Monica Lindstrom said Mejia’s case will be difficult to prove “because he’s going to have to show that Juul negligently or intentionally turned him into an addict.”

She added companies cannot mislead consumers. The complaint states Juul did not disclose its products “delivers a level of nicotine to the bloodstream as high or higher than traditional combustible cigarettes.”

“When a company has a product, they are not entitled to mislead consumers as to what the product is, what it contains and what will happen,” Lindstrom said.

This comes as the number of lawsuits filed against Juul keeps growing. School districts across the country, including some from Arizona, have filed lawsuits against Juul. They claim the company lured students into vaping with misleading ads about the potential dangers of using e-cigarettes.

The Tolleson Union High School District is the latest school district in Arizona to sue Juul. It filed a lawsuit on Tuesday.

“Our top priority in the Tolleson Union High School District is the safety and health of our students,” Superintendent Nora Gutierrez said in a statement. “It is our duty to protect our young adults and that is why our Governing Board saw the need for our school district to join this fight for the well-being of our students.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Rod Stewart performs during The BRIT Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on Feb. 18, 2020. in London. (Phot...

Rod Stewart delays Phoenix concert for more than a year

The Rod Stewart concert scheduled for next month at Phoenix’s Footprint Center is being pushed back more than a year because of unspecified "production delays.”
23 hours ago
(Facebook photo/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)...

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team fatally shoots man who allegedly shot at them

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office SWAT team on Wednesday fatally shot a man who allegedly shot at them, authorities said.
23 hours ago
(Flickr Photo/India Water Portal)...
Associated Press

Petitions submitted for new groundwater management district in southeastern Arizona

A proposal apparently headed to the November ballot would have voters in rural southeastern Arizona decide whether to create a new regulatory district to manage large-scale groundwater use for agriculture in an area where aquifer levels have dropped in recent years.
23 hours ago
(Phoenix Police Photo)...

Police seeking person of interest in Phoenix shooting that left man dead

Police are seeking a person of interest in a shooting in Phoenix last month that left a man dead.
23 hours ago
(Match Market & Bar Photo/Timothy Fox Photography)...

What’s cooking? Spring Arizona Restaurant Week starts 10-day run Friday

More than 100 restaurants have signed on to show off their menus during Arizona Restaurant Week, which kicks off Friday.
23 hours ago
(Photo by: Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)...
Danny Shapiro

Phoenix gas average eclipses $5 a gallon with more increases likely this summer, expert says

Phoenix has eclipsed an average of $5 for a gallon of gasoline and prices are likely to continue rising for a while, an industry expert said Wednesday.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Have you gotten your booster shot?

Do you remember when you got your last COVID-19 vaccination? If it has been more than five months since you completed your primary vaccination series, it’s time for you to get your booster. You may be eligible even sooner depending which vaccine you received. If you are over the age of 50 and received your […]

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to in April

April brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Suns and Diamondbacks.
Arizona teen’s lawsuit claims Juul got him addicted to nicotine