Olathe School District sues JUUL

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Olathe School District sues JUUL

Alyson Gad, Reporter

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       After years of growing problems between students and vaping, the Olathe Public School District has decided to take action. A meeting this morning, Sept. 27, was held to consider authorizing a lawsuit against e-cigarette manufacturer, JUUL. Superintendent, John Allison, was set to recommend a resolution during this meeting that permits Olathe Public Schools to allow “legal counsel to initiate litigation and file suit against JUUL,” according to an agenda which was posted Thursday night. The Board of Education approved this resolution, in which all costs are being taken on by law firms representing the district.   

       Last year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared a vaping epidemic among teens, and since then there have been 12 deaths nationwide linked to vaping, two of them being in Kansas. Not only did the FDA declare this epidemic, but they warned JUUL personally against their ways of marketing, which they claimed targeted teens. Based on the FDA’s involvement and the 800 lung disease cases since September, the Olathe Public School District will file suit because they have “experienced and continue to experience serious difficulties with students using JUUL devices,” said a copy of the resolution. “[students using JUUL devices] has created a disruption of the District’s educational program, which has forced the District to divert resources to curb and prevent student JUUL usage.”  

       A presentation was shown at the meeting, which was based off of information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, included that more than 20% of U.S Highschool students have used e-cigarettes in the last month, a 78% increase since 2017. Although, “an aggressive action plan to combat underage use,” was claimed to be in effect by JUUL in an interview by 41 Action News. “We have never marketed to youth and do not want any non-nicotine users to try our products.”  

       Superintendent Allison said, “Our role as a public-school district is to provide our students with the best educational environment to help them learn and grow. To protect our students is paramount. Middle and high school students, we believe, have been targeted by e-cigarette and vaping manufacturers with false and misleading advertising. Vaping has caused a significant disruption in our buildings. A smart as our students are, they don’t understand the long-term ramifications of vaping and the amount of addictive chemicals they are dealing with. It’s our role to protect our students today and in the future.”  

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