By Martin Brandenburg
SILVER SPRING, Md.– The Montgomery County Council announced that they would be filing a lawsuit against Juul Labs for impacting the health of the general public last month.
Council President Nancy Navarro announced in a statement that “The Council authorizes taking legal action against Juul Labs and Altria Group.”
Altria Group is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of cigarettes.
On Oct. 11, a lawsuit was filed against Juul Labs in coordination with three pieces of legislation that were introduced over the past two months aimed at cutting rates of youth use of e-cigarettes.
Bill 29-19 was introduced to the council on Sept. 17 and would prohibit manufacturers of e-cigarettes from selling their products to stores a half-mile away from middle schools and high schools; Bill 31-19 would prohibit people under the age of 21 from buying tobacco products and e-cigarettes, with the exception of active service members above the age of 18; and Bill 32-19 would extend the first bill to a radius of one mile away from middle schools and high schools.
“With this lawsuit, we are making clear that we will not stand by while companies deliberately try to convince young people to become attracted, and possibly addicted, to vaping,” County Executive Marc Elrich said in a statement.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), teens are more likely to use e-cigarettes than regular cigarettes, but those who do use e-cigarettes are almost four times more likely to start smoking than teens who do not use them.
NIDA also reports that “25% of 12th graders, 20% of 10th graders, and 9% of 8th graders [are] now vaping nicotine.”