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

Interior Health continues to tackle COVID-19

IH president Susan Brown says don’t become complacent about pandemic

Summerland councillor’s bid for NDP nomination rejected

Doug Holmes was told provincial executive would not accept his application

Osoyoos happy to leave border closed

Tourism from B.C. has bolstered the town’s economy over the summer

Open houses planned to discuss future of Summerland Aquatic Centre

Municipality seeking input about proposed replacement

Fundraiser set up to help 10-year-old Summerland girl with cancer

Danica Yeoman is undergoing treatment at BC Children’s Hospital

Okanagan volunteers slowing down speeders

Speed Watch program back in action with schools back in session

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Thousands of child care spaces coming to 35 B.C. communities

Province announces milestone in Childcare BC plan

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read