June 28, 2022

Volume XII, Number 179


June 27, 2022

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E-cigarette Companies Raising Nicotine Levels to Compete with Juul

Desperate to shatter Juul’s recently-acquired, 70% dominance over the e-cigarette industry, competitors are increasing nicotine levels in their e-cigarette liquid pods. That does not bode well for the new generation of e-cigarette nicotine addicts and has generated what Stanford researchers have coined, “a nicotine arms race.”

Juul launched its e-cigarette officially in 2015 and has rapidly taken over the market, due to a number of factors. Juul e-cigarettes present a subtle, USB-style design, with a patented “nicotine salts” delivery system that promises to deliver high levels of nicotine without a harsh inhaling experience. Equally effective is their clever advertising (See Stanford analysis of Juul advertising since inception).

Juul lists its liquid pods nicotine strength as 3-5% as compared to other companies 1-3% nicotine strength (per Stanford). Stanford researches equated a 5% Juul pod to greater than 40 packs of traditional cigarettes. See below for Juul Pods nicotine levels:

The Juul Pods

Virginia Tobacco 5%, 3% Nicotine Strengths
Mint 5%, 3% Nicotine Strengths
Classic Tobacco 5% Nicotine Strength
Mango 5% Nicotine Strength
Cucumber 5% Nicotine Strength
Creme 5% Nicotine Strength
Menthol 5% Nicotine Strength
Fruit 5% Nicotine Strength

The formula is simple: the higher the nicotine, the higher the number of nicotine addicts, the higher the number of users. It’s the same historic formula used by big tobacco companies.

The high level of nicotine in the Juul fluids has sparked competitors to change their formulas and up nicotine levels in order to compete. Because of this rush to up nicotine levels to the Juul standard, Stanford researches warned of four risks that are cause for public concern.

  • The threat that a new generation of youth will become addicted to nicotine.

  • Increase in childhood poisoning when purchased in large quantities (nicotine is a poison).

  • Lack of standardization on how to label nicotine content leading to confusion as to the amount of nicotine in the products.

  • Public health threat due to the “addictiveness and toxicity” of the e-cigarette products.

Without FDA intervention to curtail the rise of high levels of nicotine in the e-cigarette industry, more and more young people will be exposed and addicted. This can lead to numerous health problems over time—just like in the traditional tobacco industry.

COPYRIGHT © 2022, STARK & STARKNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 42

About this Author

Domenic B. Sanginiti, Jr, Stark Law, Personal Injury Lawyer, Civil Litigation Attorney

Domenic B. Sanginiti, Jr. is a Shareholder and member of the Accident & Personal Injury Group. Mr. Sanginiti concentrates on catastrophic personal injury matters, negligent security claims, wrongful death and product liability matters. Mr. Sanginiti also focuses his practice on the hazards and defects of lithium ion batteries, e-cigarettes, and other vaping products. Mr. Sanginiti is currently leading the Juul litigation at Stark & Stark and...