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Palm Beach County School District sues Juul

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The Palm Beach County School District is taking action and has filed a lawsuit against e-cigarette manufacturer Juul.

The school district unanimously voted 7-0 last month to take legal action against one of the biggest companies in the e-cigarette industry. School board members say they couldn't stand by and do nothing while the vaping epidemic wreaked havoc in local schools.

According to the lawsuit, the school district says it has spent money in creating a night class for students who were suspended for vaping, redirecting staff time and resources to assist in revising the Student Code of Conduct specifically geared toward prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes, as well as town hall meetings to educate parents about the dangers of students using e-cigarettes.

In an effort to combat vaping, the principal of Jupiter High School even changed the school's restroom policy so that students could no longer go to the restroom during class time.

"Cigarette manufacturers knew that teenagers were particularly susceptible to becoming addicted to nicotine and that addicting a 14-year-old to smoking gained a customer for decades, potentially," the lawsuit states. "However, the addictive nature of nicotine continued to present an economic opportunity to those willing to exploit the economics of addiction."

The school district also alleges that Juul took "a page from big tobacco's playbook," developing a marketing strategy that portrayed e-cigarettes as a "trend-setting, stylish and used by the type of people teenagers aspire to be," as well as creating a misleading impression that its products were a "healthy" alternative to smoking.

New York and California have previously filed lawsuits with similar claims of deceptive marketing. Back in October, First Lady Melania Trump said Monday that companies "must stop" marketing e-cigarettes to children, saying they are addictive and dangerous.

"Repeated exposure to nicotine causes neurons in the brain to adapt to the action of the drug and return brain function to normal. This process, called neuroadaptation, leads to the development of tolerance in which a given level of nicotine begins to have less of an effect on the user," the lawsuit states. "Once a brain is addicted to nicotine, the absence of nicotine causes compulsive drug-seeking behavior, which, if not satisfied, results in withdrawal symptoms including anxiety, tension, depression, irritability, difficulty in concentrating, disorientation, increased eating, restlessness, headaches, sweating, insomnia, heart palpitations and tremors, and intense cravings for nicotine... Studies have found that most smokers do not like smoking most of the time but do so to avoid withdrawal symptoms."

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