A smoker is engulfed by vapours as he smokes an e-cigarette during lunch time in central London on August 9, 2017.

A smoker is engulfed by vapours as he smokes an e-cigarette during lunch time in central London on August 9, 2017.

If you think you’ve seen more teenagers vaping, it’s not a coincidence.

Vox reports that “e-cigarettes have quietly eclipsed cigarette smoking among adolescents.” They also report that “in 2017, the e-cigarette market expanded by 40 percent, to $1.16 billion, with a lot of that growth driven by [e-cig maker] Juul.”

What does it even feel like to hit a vape?

The New Yorker’s Jia Tolentino described it this way:

I inserted the pod into the Juul, and a little light on the device glowed green. I took a sharp experimental inhalation and nearly jumped. It felt as if a tiny ghost had rushed out of the vaporizer and slapped me on the back of my throat.

I took another hit, and another. Each one was a white spike of nothing: a pop, a flavored coolness, as if the idea of a cucumber had just vanished inside my mouth. As I pulled out of the parking lot, my scalp tingled. To Juul (the brand has become a verb) is to inhale nicotine free from the seductively disgusting accoutrements of a cigarette: the tar, the carbon monoxide, the garbage mouth, the smell. It’s an uncanny simulacrum of smoking.

Most e-cigarettes still have nicotine in them, which means there are still a lot of questions about the effects of vaping. “The long-term health impacts of e-cigarettes are still unknown and a recent case study, published in the journal Pediatrics, suggests there are risks,” according to Vox.

With that in mind, what regulations are in place around e-cigarettes? How are students, parents and teachers dealing with their presence in schools?

Show produced by Avery J.C. Kleinman. Text by Gabrielle Healy.


  • Tony Abboud Executive Director, Vapor Technology Association; @VaporTechAssoc
  • Dave Dobbins Chief Operating Officer, Truth Initiative; @truthinitiative
  • Jack Waxman Student, Cornell University; founder, Juulers Against Juul
  • Dr. Nancy Rigotti Director, Tobacco Research & Treatment Center, Massachusetts General Hospital

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