Oswego school board approves joining multi-district suit against e-cigarette company

Oswego School District 308 is joining districts across the country in a suit against e-cigarette company JUUL, claiming that the company directly targeted children and teenagers in their advertisements and marketing.

Joining the suit was approved in a unanimous vote by the OSD 308 Board of Education during its Sept. 13 meeting at Oswego East High School.

The lawsuit, according to information provided by the district, is a multi-district litigation (MDL) against JUUL Labs, claiming that the company, “targeted youth through their advertising and seeks to address the disruption to schools’ educational mission caused by JUUL use, and counseling students about the serious health effects and addiction problems associated with these devices.”

“JUUL targeted youth with their vaping, watermelon flavors and things like that marketed towards youth,” Chief Financial Officer John Petzke explained. “The schools see a huge disruption in the academic program, we see discipline problems, we see supervisory issues, we see a lot of negative impact due to vaping in the schools.

“This would help us to recoup some of the funding and the resources that we put into countering some of those activities.”

In joining the MDL, the district will be represented by Kansas City, Missouri, firm Wagstaff & Cartmell, which is representing other districts in the suit.

This story will be updated.