ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - One of the largest school districts in Maryland announced Monday they are suing major vaping company Juul in an attempt to protect students.
Anne Arundel Public Schools are suing Juul Labs, seeking unspecified damages claiming "gross negligence" by the company and alleging Juul's vape projects are marketed to students.
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 13: Electronic cigarettes and pods by Juul, the nation's largest maker of vaping products, are offered for sale at the Smoke Depot on September 13, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered
The five-count suit also alleges the company violated Maryland's Consumer Protection Act, nuisance laws and racketeering statutes.
Anne Arundel Schools' attorney Phil Federico wouldn't put a dollar sign on how much vaping has cost the district, but says it's faced a severe financial burden created by Juul Lab's vaping products.
"So that’s the biggest problem and then you’ve created this whole generation of young people who are now addicted to nicotine because it delivers 4 to 5 times the nicotine of a cigarette," says Federico. "So it really is a problem schools are struggling with and it has impacted their budgets substantially."
Before COVID hit, youth vaping had quickly become public health enemy number one. But as the pandemic took hold, vaping lost its grip on the headlines.
Guy Bentley, Director of Consumer Freedom at Reason Foundation, tells FOX 5 he's not sold on the idea that schools have racked up big costs in dealing with vaping, and questions the lawsuit.
"I think you have to question the motivations of school districts trying to get a huge cash payout for a problem that has long since ceased to exist," says Bentley. "It’s true that some vape manufacturers have settled these lawsuits in the past for quest substantial multimillion-dollar sums."
FOX 5 reached out to vape maker Juul for comment on the lawsuit. In an email, Juul acknowledged it had received the request, but is still reviewing it.