Advertisement

‘Just breathing alone sucks’: B.C. man hoping to open class action against Juul speaks out

WATCH: Jaycen Stephens of Armstrong, B.C., is hoping to open a class-action lawsuit against vaping manufacturer Juul, saying that his use of its product led to his respiratory problems.

Two B.C. men are seeking to open a class action against vaping giant Juul.

In a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, Jaycen Stephens, 19, and Owen Mann-Campbell say they started vaping because they were unaware of the risks of e-cigarettes.

WATCH: Washington State ban increases pressure on B.C. government over vaping

Washington State ban increases pressure on B.C. government over vaping
Washington State ban increases pressure on B.C. government over vaping

The two young men say they developed a number of respiratory problems, increased addiction to nicotine and anxiety — symptoms doctors believe are connected to vaping.

Stephens, who started vaping when he was around 16 years old, says he has suffered from “non-stop breathing problems.”

READ MORE: How dangerous is vaping? What we know about its health risks

“You just feel like your lungs are filled with fluid constantly, and it makes breathing really heavy and hard,” he said from his Armstrong, B.C., home. “Just trying to sleep sometimes is miserable. That was kind of my breaking point.”

Story continues below advertisement

I don’t have the breath capacity like I used to and just breathing alone sucks.” 

Stephens alleges Juul misled customers when it said vaping products were healthier than cigarettes.

“No one knew anything about it until now, and now it’s proving to be harmful to all these people,” he said. “Yet it was advertised as a healthy alternative.”

READ MORE: ‘It felt like open season had been declared’: How big tobacco changed vaping in Canada

In an email statement to Global News, a Juul Canada spokesperson said: “We have not yet been served with the statement of claim and at this time are not able to provide any further comment.”

Stephens says he hopes the suit will alert other young people to the dangers of vaping.

WATCH: New calls for vaping regulations as safety concerns increase

New calls for vaping regulations as safety concerns increase
New calls for vaping regulations as safety concerns increase

“It’s horrible. All these young kids don’t understand yet because they haven’t grown up. They think it’s so cool. It’s not so cool, guys, when you can’t breathe because you have too much liquid sitting in your lungs to take a full breath. It’s not fun.

“It’s my health that I ruined, but I can help other people and not ruin their health by getting this out there.”

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Juul suspends advertising in U.S., CEO steps down as vaping concerns intensify

The legal action comes as the province already faces increased pressure to ban flavoured products. Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee announced an emergency ban on flavoured e-cigarette products, joining at least three other U.S. states in doing so.
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix says the province is planning to reduce the number of vendors selling e-cigarettes and other vaping products, but much of the regulation around vaping is a federal responsibility.