Two New York City parents sued Juul Labs on Tuesday, arguing that like the cigarette companies that came before, the vape giant purposefully targets teens with its advertising — including their daughter, who is now addicted to nicotine at age 15.

Kathryn and Ian Fay filed their civil suit against Juul, Philip Morris, New York Smoke Shop, Inc., and Altria (the company that owns Philip Morris, Marlboro, and also 35 percent of Juul) in Manhattan Supreme Court.

"Mimicking Big Tobacco’s past marketing practices, Defendants prey on youth to recruit replacement smokers for financial gain," the lawsuit states. Juul, the lawsuit claims, also deliberately mimics the cigarette smoking experience (the signature crackle, one assumes), adding flashy features like "party mode" (when Juul's battery indicator lights up in a "display of rainbow of colors," an elusive but achievable phenomenon). Presumably, that would appeal to teens, as would the fact that "JUUL is easy to conceal from parents and teachers," as the suit points out, because it looks like a USB drive and is easily concealed in a closed fist.

But then, there's the separate issue of nicotine concentration, which is high — one 5 percent-strength Juul pod equates to 20 cigarettes, according to the manufacturer, although the amount of nicotine consumed could be much higher with Juul, according to the lawsuit — and which becomes especially risky when it's conveyed in sugary flavors that appeal to young palates. The plaintiff, for example, was not addicted to nicotine before she discovered mango Juul pods around age 12. Using them, according to the lawsuit, has resulted in injuries to her health, although the complaint does not say specifically what those are.

Still, addiction is a major concern with regard to teens, who Juul and vape at astounding rates, often opting for candy-tasting vape juices like mango and vanilla creme: In 2017, for example, 2.1 million middle and high school students admitted to vaping, versus 3.6 million the following year. Many have blamed this trend on pointed marketing and social media tactics intended to make vaping look, in this lawsuit's estimation, “cool,” “carefree,” “stylish,” “attractive,” “sexy,” “pleasureful,” and “popular," just like Big Tobacco used to do with cigarettes. At the same time, the suit states, Juul's ads did not effectively communicate the full extent of nicotine's associated health risks, leading the Fays' daughter to believe it was safe.

The lawsuit also invites comparison between Juul ads and cigarette ads with a series of visuals, a few of which you can view below:

Juul v. cigs, exhibit A.

Juul v. cigs, exhibit B.

Not convinced?

Juul v. cigs, exhibit C.

Juul v. cigs, exhibit D.

Those last two might not exactly scream teen, but at least with respect to the packaging, fruit Juul pods may actually bear a reasonably close resemblance to Marlboro Red cigarettes when you squint: The red chevron caps atop charcoal gray rectangles are distinctly similar. And then, Juul did actively court influencers for product promotion, and it did dump money into youth education programs.

For what it's worth: Last fall, the company scaled back its social media presence, and announce its plan to block sales of flavored nicotine juice boxes to minors, emphasizing that the product was always intended as another mechanism to help cigarette-addicted adults quit. But by then, the product may also have hooked a bunch of minors, and as this lawsuit notes, it's possible to get your hands on nicotine products even when you're not of legal smoking age.

On top of all of that, the suit contends, Juul's public-facing messaging took pains to distance the product from traditional cigarettes. The lawsuit recalls one campaign that, allegedly, "expressly stated: ‘FACT: JUUL Labs is not Big Tobacco. We are an independent vapor company on a mission to eliminate cigarettes.'" In reality, the complaint argues, Juul is partially owned by Big Tobacco, and borrows its marketing methods to achieve the same ends: Hook the youth, ensure future customers.

The Fays are seeking unspecified damages, "monetary and equitable relief for diagnostic testing, medical monitoring, and nicotine cessation programs," restitution, and recompensation for attorneys' fees. Despite the references to health problems, the suit does not say whether or not this particular teen is one of the rash of people who've recently fallen ill and/or died from vaping, although it bears noting that those illnesses and deaths appear to be associated with the use of bootleg THC cartridges, and not Juul's nicotine cartridges. Still, regardless of the particular product or manufacturer, we have no idea what the longterm health consequences of vaping might be.

In a statement to the NY Post, Juul spokesperson Austin Finan said: "This suit largely copies and pastes unfounded allegations previously raised in other lawsuits which we have been actively contesting for over a year. This case is without merit and we will defend our mission throughout this process."