#parents | #teensvaping | Lake County State’s Attorney Testifies On Teen Vaping Epidemic

CHICAGO, IL — Nearly six weeks after Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim and his legal partners filed a lawsuit against e-cigarette provider Juul Labs, Nerheim testified in front of the Illinois House Mental Health Committee in Chicago Monday on the dangers of teen vaping and the state’s vaping crisis. According to a release from the state’s attorney’s office, Nerheim, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, were among the several invited to speak with the panel of state lawmakers.

Testimony came just two days before Juul Labs announced Wednesday it’s stopping advertising and its CEO, Kevin Burns, is stepping down.

During Monday’s testimony, Nerheim and Berlin spoke with lawmakers about how flavored e-cigarettes were a major catalyst in getting teens hooked on nicotine and vaping, the release said.

Dr. Ezike testified to the Illinois House Panel Monday that there has been one death and 69 instances in Illinois linked to vaping in the state, while another 13 cases are being investigated, according to the state’s attorney’s office. In addition, Ezike also added that the individuals in about three-quarters of the cases in Illinois said they vaped THC, the release adds.

On Monday, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul voiced his support to lawmakers of a ban on flavored vaping products, adding that a “comprehensive investigation” into the effects of vaping will be launched by his office, according to the release.

“It was an honor to meet with Illinois state legislators on such an important issue,” Nerheim said, in the release sent to Patch. “Vaping is harming our teenagers and legislation needs to be enacted to curb this health epidemic.”

The lawsuit filed last month in Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court of Lake County by Nerheim, Chicago law firms of Romanucci and Blandin, LLC, Hart McLaughlin and Eldridge, LLC, and Edelson, PC, is the first of its kind to be filed in the U.S., according to the state’s attorney’s office.


The complaint claims Juul Labs has consistently manipulated teens to become hooked on nicotine-aided e-cigarettes through deceptive marketing campaigns. The complaint also seeks relief from the expensive burden for Illinoisans and adolescents, and seeks “civil penalties and all appropriate injunctive relief to address, remedy, and prevent further harm to Illinois residents,” according to the state’s attorney’s office.

Officials claim Juul — the owner of more than 75 percent of the e-cigarette market — has caused a public health crisis that’s already devastated the lives of many children and damaged several families.

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