FILE - This Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018 file photo shows a Juul electronic cigarette starter kit at a smoke shop in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Two B.C. men seek to open class action against e-cigarette giant Juul

Owen Mann-Campbell and another B.C. man seek damages after using Juul vapes

Two men are alleging vape manufacturer Juul engages in deceptive marketing practices and targets their products at youth, according to a notice of civil claim filed at B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver Monday.

The two plaintiffs, Owen Mann-Campbell and Jaycen Stephens, said they have been using Juul products since 2018 and have “experienced adverse health conditions as a result of vaping, including pulmonary disease.”

The claim targets Juul Labs and Juuls Labs Canada, their Canadian-arm, and seeks to certify a class action.

Mann-Campbell, of White Rock, said that shortly after he began using Juul products in 2018 he experienced shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, an increased addiction to nicotine, anxiety and depression and weight loss.

Stephens alleges that after he began vaping in 2018 he experiences shortness of breath, chronic bronchitis, chest pain, coughing, pneumonia, increased addiction to nicotine and anxiety.

Both men were 18 years old when they began using Juul products. Vapes, or e-cigarettes, are illegal to sell or advertise to people under 19.

Mann-Campbell and Stephens claim their family doctors believed their symptoms to be linked to vaping.

READ MORE: Possible Canadian cases of vaping illnesses being investigated: health officer

The notice alleges that as Juul “caused the e-cigarettes to be introduced” into the Canadian market, they “knew that any damages or adverse effects related to the e-cigarettes would cause foreseeable injury to the plaintiffs and class members.”

Both men claim they would not have used Juul products had they received “accurate information and/or warnings with respect to the possible health complications from vaping.”

Juul announced earlier this month that they would cease internet, print and TV advertising in the U.S., but not in Canada. The company’s CEO Kevin Burns also announced plans to step down.

The court documents further state the plaintiffs were “misled by the statements made by [Juul] with respect to the safety and efficacy of their products and by advertising made by [Juul] designed to market their products to minors.”

Canadian law forbids companies from advertising any health benefits from vaping and from comparing those health benefits to cigarettes.

In November 2018, the company said it would continue to sell mango, fruit, and cucumber flavoured pods in Canadian retail outlets, despite no longer doing so south of the border because they might entice young people to use its products.

Juul would not explain why it seemingly sees a link between flavoured products and youth consumption in the States, but not Canada, beyond saying the two markets “are very different.”

READ MORE: Juul move to end vaping advertising in the U.S. not extended to Canada

On Saturday, Health Canada warned Canadians who vape to watch out for signs of pulmonary illness, after at least two cases of the disease in Canada were linked to vaping.

South of the border, U.S. officials have launched investigations into 450 possible cases of illnesses linked to vaping, as well as five deaths.

The plaintiffs are seeking to have their claim certified as a class action, as well as general, special and punitive damages, relief under the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, recovery of healthcare costs incurred by the Ministry of Health Services, and costs.

In an email to Black Press Media, a Juul Labs Canada spokesperson said “we have not yet been served with the statement of claim and at this time are not able to provide any further comment.”

READ MORE: B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

– with files from The Canadian Press


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

Kaslo councillor admits to ‘baiting’ member of public in email exchange

Kaslo Village Council to consider adopting code of conduct

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

West Kootenay mother searching for son missing since Sept. 1

Police are investigating the disappearance of Cory Westcott

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Most Read