NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A Massapequa teenager has filed a lawsuit against Juul, the nation’s largest maker of vaping products.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Central Islip, 19-year-old Shawn Hochhauser claims the company caused him to become addicted to flavored e-cigarettes when he was just 15 through deceptive marketing and advertising.
The teenager now says that he suffers from debilitating medical problems as a result of his addiction, including shortness of breath, chest pain and increased mucus.
Hochhauser says he never smoked regular cigarettes but was attracted to vaping in high school because of misleading advertising on social media and at local stores.
The lawsuit alleges Juul associated vaping with “love, attractiveness, sexuality, popularity, parties, social events, celebrity and being cool.”
In a statement, Juul said the lawsuit had no merit.
“Our product has always only been intended to be a viable alternative for the one billion current adult smokers in the world. We have never marketed to youth and do not want any non-nicotine users to try our products,” the company said.
Still, nearly 40% of high school seniors and 27% of high school students overall in New York admit to using e-cigarettes.