Do Vape Pens Trick Teens?

By Jenny Bolario

Vape pens, or e-cigarettes, are often billed as a safer way for smokers to get their fix. The user breathes in water vapor infused with nicotine and exhales what looks like smoke. But with flavors like banana cream pie and alien blood, these pens are attracting a new generation of “smokers.” According to the CDC, the use of e-cigarettes has doubled in popularity among middle and high school students. And now the FDA is considering regulating them as tobacco products. Youth Radio explores what’s attracting young teens to “vaping” and the dangers they might be facing.

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Youth Radio Investigates is an NSF-supported science reporting series in which young journalists collect and analyze original data with professional scientists, and then tell unexpected stories about what they discover. National Geographic News Watch partners with Youth Radio to share the work of the young journalists with the National Geographic audience. Check out more from Youth Radio’s science desk at http://www.youthradio.org/oldsite/nsf/index.shtml