The sudden success of an e-cigarette called JUUL—pronounced “jewel”—is causing a backlash. Sales of JUUL, invented by two Stanford engineers, have exploded 30-fold since early 2016. JUUL doesn’t burn tobacco. It heats a nicotine-containing liquid held in replaceable pods, and, like other vaping devices, delivers nicotine far less dangerously than cigarettes.
But instead of cheers for a blockbuster of American ingenuity that’s saving lives, JUUL has sparked a moral panic. A Harvard pediatrician likened teen use of JUUL to “bioterrorism . . . a massive public-health disaster.” Last week, Sen. Chuck Schumer demanded that the Food and Drug Administration douse the “fire of e-cig addiction among New York adolescents.”
Everyone agrees that teens shouldn’t vape. But the consensus cannot end there, because there is no adult activity that some kids won’t do. According to the 2017 Monitoring the Future survey, almost 1 in 5 high school seniors reported getting drunk within the previous month, while