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

Kimberley and District Community Foundation receives $30,000 in emergency funding

Community groups affected by COVID-19 pandemic invited to apply

Evacuation order downgraded in Fairmont, alert remains in place

An evacuation order has been downgraded for properties along Fairmont Creek, but… Continue reading

City of Kimberley Boil Water Notice rescinded

Water Quality Advisory remains in effect

City of Kimberley encourages people and pets to stay away from fast flowing creeks

City doesn’t anticipate flooding but creeks are running very fast

Wolf cubs at play in the Cranbrook area

Photographer Linda Botterill and her husband were out in the backcountry recently… Continue reading

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment in schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read