From: National Public Radio
by Jenny Lei Bolario
Electronic cigarettes are often billed as a safe way for smokers to try to kick their habit. But it’s not just smokers who are getting their fix this way. According to published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 middle school students who’ve tried one say they’ve never smoked a “real” cigarette. And between 2011 and 2012, e-cigarettes doubled in popularity among middle and high school students.
At a middle school in the San Francisco Bay Area, Viviana Turincio, an 8th grader, recently noticed some kids smoking in class — or at least, that’s what it looked like.
“There was a group at the table,” she remembers. “And they were just smoking on the vape pen, and the teacher was right there — and the teacher didn’t even notice.”
That’s because her classmates were smoking an , sometimes called a “vape pen.” It’s a hand-held, battery-powered device that vaporizes a liquid that is often infused with nicotine. You inhale the vapor through a mouthpiece, and exhale what looks like smoke. In this case the smoke smelled like candy.
“My favorite flavor is gummy bears because it tastes really good,” Viviana says.