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?