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.
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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.”
“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.”
“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.”
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.
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“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.”