An Illinois teenager who fell ill with a lung disease after vaping for more than a year has sued a leading e-cigarette maker.

Attorneys filed the lawsuit Friday in Lake County Circuit Court on behalf of 18-year-old Adam Hergenreder.

Antonio Romanucci, the attorney representing the teenager suing Juul Labs, said: “Adam is one of millions of teens who unknowingly took up vaping, completely unaware of the adverse health effects until it was almost too late. And now he is one of nearly 450 cases of reported lung-related disease illnesses related to e-cigarette use according to the Center for Disease Control. As our lawsuit alleges today, Juul has turned a generation of our young youth, our adolescents, into addicts and they’ve recklessly put their health and safety into jeopardy.”

The 85-page suit alleges Juul Labs deliberately targeted young people through Instagram and other sites to suggest vaping can boost their social status.The lawsuit also states Juul doesn’t fully disclose their products contain dangerous chemicals. Lawyer Antonio Romanucci says his client couldn’t avoid “getting hooked” on what he called “toxic timebombs.”

videoinfo__video.thebl.com||99a3a9b09__

Ad will display in 09 seconds

Hergenreder says he’s afraid of what his future might look like, fearing the lung damage he’s sustained may impact his work and everyday activities.  “Well, like I said, it was—when I was first admitted into the hospital, my lungs were that of a 70-year-old. So, you can kind of imagine how terrible it was,” Hergenreder said.

His mother, Polly, said her son had aspirations of becoming a firefighter, “but that is definitely not going to be something he’s gonna be able to do at this point,” she said.There was no immediate response to an email message seeking comment from San Francisco-based Juul.The company has argued previously that its products are meant to help adult smokers wean themselves off traditional tobacco cigarettes.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Sept. 13. He said:

“While I like the Vaping alternative to Cigarettes, we need to make sure this alternative is SAFE for ALL! Let’s get counterfeits off the market, and keep young children from Vaping!”

Includes reporting from The Associated Press

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.