a Caramel-Flavored Drag: The Truth About E-Cigarettes and Teenagers

Article by Gabrielle Healy from The1A.org

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?


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