BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One of the largest school districts in Maryland is cracking down on vape company Juul Labs.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools announced Monday it is suing the maker of vaping products, alleging the company is marketing to children and putting their health at risk.
The school system’s attorney, Phil Federico, says this lawsuit is about protecting the students who say the epidemic of vaping has created “this whole generation of young people who are now addicted to nicotine.”
Anne Arundel County Public Schools is joining dozens of other school districts in suing Juul Labs, including Chicago, with Federico’s law firm representing dozens of them.
The five-count lawsuit is alleging Juul Labs is marketing its products to children with “flavors that they were using like cotton candy and tooty fruity,” Federico told WJZ on Monday.
Eighth-grader Nathan says every time he goes into a bathroom at his school, he’ll see students skipping class and vaping, making the bathroom fogged up.
The 13-year-old kid says he has seen students as young as in the sixth grade vaping at his school.
In Maryland, you must be 21 years old to purchase a vape.
But Austin, who graduated from Northeast High School, said a person can easily buy vapes at any age because “a lot of places don’t card.”
Anne Arundel County Public Schools is seeking unspecified damages.
But some parents like Kerry Gillespie believe the school system should focus more on bigger issues like mental health given that some children struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Back in 2020, Anne Arundel County sued Juul Labs along with Howard and Garrett Counties. According to the county attorney, they haven’t settled that case and it is moving through the court system as part of a larger federal case.