In the age where vaping is a clear and obvious epidemic, a mysterious illness that ultimately leads to death has made headlines, culminating in two deaths in Kansas and 1,479 reported cases as of Oct. 15. These recent events, in addition to students in the Olathe School District vaping at a seemingly never-ending increase, have led the district to sue the primary manufacturer of vaping devices, Juul.
The Olathe School District was later joined by districts in St. Charles, Mo.; Long Island, N.Y.; and La Conner, Wash., as well as the Blue Valley and Shawnee Mission school districts. Many other districts are expected to follow and will probably seek a class action lawsuit, effectively making all of these districts a single plantiff.
the district is primarily seeking reperations for being “forced to expend significant resources combating [the] public nuisance,” and claims that the company has created a threat to student health. Juul responded by releasing a statement, saying that “[their] product has always only been intended to be a viable alternative for the one billion current adult smokers in the world.”
However, this press release can essentially be seen as the company covering themselves to ensure that their own words will not come back to bite them under oath in court, as it potentially could. Additionally, the fine print on all advertisements produced by Juul speficies that it is “the alternative for adult smokers,” and that the smoke vapor contains heavu amounts of carbon monoxide, suggesting that their products are not to be used by minors.
As it stands now, the district only suspends caught students for a three-day period for their first offense, with an option to come back early if an online schooling assignment is completed. However, this punishment should be increased to a week at minimum with no option to come back early; the message should be conveyed straight from the beginning, with no leniency.