Zyn Lawsuit: 2024 Updates

Have you heard about the Zyn lawsuit? It’s been making headlines in 2024.

Two law firms filed a big class action lawsuit in March against the companies that make and sell Zyn nicotine pouches.

They say Zyn is unsafe and that the companies market it in illegal ways, including targeting kids and teens.

Zyn Lawsuit

Zyn Lawsuit

Let’s dive in and explain what this lawsuit is all about.

What are Zyn Pouches?

Before we get into the lawsuit, let’s talk about what Zyn pouches are:

  • They are small pouches that contain nicotine. You put them in your mouth, usually between your lip and gums.
  • The nicotine is absorbed through your mouth, so you don’t have to smoke or vape anything.
  • Zyn comes in a bunch of different flavors like wintergreen, peppermint, cinnamon, and citrus.
  • They are sold by a company called Swedish Match, which is owned by Philip Morris, one of the biggest tobacco companies in the world.
  • Zyn pouches make up about 70% of the nicotine pouch market. They are a huge moneymaker, with Philip Morris expecting to make $2 billion from them in 2024 alone.

Criticism of Zyn

Even before this recent lawsuit, Zyn has faced a lot of backlash and criticism:

  • In 2020, some California lawmakers wrote to the FDA saying Zyn was making false claims that their products were FDA-approved and safer than other tobacco products.
  • A 2022 study found cancer-causing chemicals called nitrosamines in over half of nicotine pouch products tested, including Zyn.
  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has urged the FDA to regulate Zyn more strictly and study its effects, especially on young people.

So Zyn was already controversial before this new lawsuit. Now let’s look at what the lawsuit alleges.

Overview of the Zyn Class Action Lawsuit

The class action complaint was filed in federal court in California on March 1, 2024, by two law firms on behalf of anyone who has purchased Zyn in the US, and any California residents under age 18 who have used Zyn. Here are the key points:

  • The lawsuit says Zyn pouches are defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous because of:
    • The high levels of nicotine they deliver.
    • How addictive they are.
    • Risks of health issues like behavioral, cognitive, mental health, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and dental problems.
  • It accuses the companies of marketing Zyn to teenagers while downplaying the addiction and health risks.
  • The suit is seeking monetary damages for the people represented in the class action.

Let’s unpack some of the specific claims in the lawsuit.

Accusations of Marketing to Teens

One of the lawsuit’s main allegations is that Zyn is deliberately marketed to appeal to kids and teenagers:

  • They say Zyn pouches are designed to look like chewing gum and come in “kid-friendly” flavors.
  • The complaint points to the thousands of viral TikTok videos about Zyn under hashtags like #Zyn that have hundreds of millions of total views. The suit alleges the company benefits from these “Zynfluencers”.
  • It claims Zyn’s ads use themes like “Freedom” and “Never Miss a Moment” that the tobacco industry knows to appeal to young people.

Deceptive Advertising Claims

The Zyn lawsuit also says the companies use false and misleading advertising:

  • Calling Zyn pouches “tobacco-free” even though the nicotine comes from tobacco. The suit says this implies Zyn is less harmful.
  • Suggesting Zyn is safer than alternatives like cigarettes. But the lawsuit says even the lowest nicotine level Zyn pouches deliver more nicotine than a typical cigarette.
  • Using this alleged deception to specifically target young tobacco users.

Legal Basis of the Zyn Lawsuit

The class action makes several legal claims against Zyn and seeks monetary relief based on:

Legal Claim Explanation
Strict Liability – Design Defect Zyn pouches are defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous
Strict Liability – Failure to Warn The companies failed to adequately warn about Zyn’s risks
Negligence The companies breached their duty of care in making and marketing Zyn
Fraud Zyn engaged in deceptive practices and false advertising

The lawsuit is seeking money to compensate people who used Zyn and to punish the company.

What Happens Next with the Zyn Lawsuit?

Now that the lawsuit has been filed, the legal process will start playing out. This could take a long time – class action suits often go on for years before reaching a resolution. A few key things to watch:

  • Philip Morris has deep pockets and will mount an aggressive legal defense with top lawyers.
  • However, tobacco companies have lost major lawsuits in the past as scientific evidence of the harms of smoking emerged and internal company documents came to light.
  • More evidence about Zyn’s marketing practices and health impact will likely come out during the legal proceedings.
  • The case could eventually be resolved through a settlement where the company pays money to end the litigation, or it could go all the way to a trial.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s cover some common questions about the Zyn lawsuit:

  • Q: How do I know if I’m included in the class action?

A: The lawsuit aims to cover anyone in the US who purchased Zyn, and any California resident under 18 who used it. But it still has to be officially “certified” as a class action by the court. If that happens, people who are included should receive a notice with the option to participate or opt-out.

  • Q: How much money could people get from the lawsuit?

A: It’s too early to say. Some class actions result in relatively small payments to individuals, while others lead to more significant amounts. It depends on many factors like the total number of people involved and the strength of the claims.

  • Q: Will Zyn be taken off the market because of the lawsuit?

A: Probably not, at least not solely because of this case. The lawsuit is mainly seeking monetary damages. But it’s possible that the litigation could put pressure on the company to change how it markets and sells Zyn.

  • Q: What if I’ve experienced health issues I think are related to using Zyn?

A: You should seek medical attention first and foremost. Make sure to tell your doctor about your Zyn use. If you think you may have a legal claim, you can consult with an attorney to discuss your options. But be aware that individual personal injury lawsuits are different from this class action case.

Conclusion:

The Zyn class action lawsuit is a major legal challenge to one of the fastest-growing products in the tobacco industry.

It accuses the maker of Zyn nicotine pouches of knowingly marketing an unsafe and addictive product to young people while attempting to mislead the public about its harm.

The lawsuit reflects broader concerns about Zyn and similar products. While promoted as a “safer” alternative to smoking, there are fears about their abuse potential and understudied health effects, particularly among youth. Critics see the suit as an important test case.

At the same time, the legal and factual allegations are still just that – allegations.

They must be proven through the legal process. And that process will likely stretch on for a long time, perhaps years.

For now, anyone concerned about Zyn (or who has purchased or used it) should pay attention as the case progresses and more information comes to light.

The Zyn lawsuit has the potential to be a landmark legal battle over a controversial product – and the outcome could have major implications for public health, regulation, and how “next generation” tobacco products are sold and marketed.

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