Idaho Falls School District Joins Lawsuit Against Juul

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The school district of Idaho Falls (district 91) has recently joined the lawsuit against Juul Labs. Juuls Labs is a major part of the United States electronic cigarette market. The lawsuit began after a group of school districts decided e-cigarettes among teens had become a problem in their schools. Idaho Falls district board of trustees met on September 21, 2021, to discuss the national lawsuit against Juul. Currently, William Shinoff, an attorney apart of Frantz law group from California, is representing over 500 school districts. As of now, there are 32 states involved in the lawsuit. During the September 21 meeting, the Idaho Falls school district concluded to also join the lawsuit against Juul. Idaho Falls school district superintendent, James Shank, during the meeting said he was contacted by Boise law firm “Anderson, Julian, and Hull.”  This law firm represents school districts in Idaho often. Idaho Falls was strongly encouraged to join the lawsuit after being contacted by the law firm. 

The 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey said, 23% of high school students and 6.7% of middle school students said they used any kind of tobacco product in 2020. 40% of high school tobacco users use e-cigarettes. Almost 25% of these high school students are using e-cigarettes every day. 

Idaho Falls superintendent said that vaping is the main cause of suspensions in multiple school districts in Idaho. Attorney William Shinoff says the lawsuit alleges that Juul Labs purposely targeted teenagers to be attracted to their e-cigarettes. Which caused nicotine addiction among teens to skyrocket in recent years and create lifelong customers for their product. Claims in the lawsuit also say Juul Labs targeted children by “kid-oriented advertising” that included bright colors and young adults in ads and spread among social media platforms that children use often. Also to note is that flavored cartridges that children typically enjoy like, “strawberry” or “vanilla,” are considered another way Juul has targeted a younger audience. 

An anonymous student from Jerome high school said, “I think it has a big influence on kids our age because I don’t think it’s to look cool, I think it’s because these kids have serious issues in their life and want to escape from it. So they use nicotine to help them. Others may use it because they want to fit in but I think the main reason is the first one. My personal thoughts on vapes are love, hate relationship. I hate that I’m addicted to it but I use it to help me get through the day. I think that it’s a horrible substance and I wish I never started.”