The Surgeon General said vaping from e-cigarettes is a trend that has grown 900 percent among teenagers in recent years, and is so popular that half-a-million middle-school students reportedly having tried it.
Whereas, early versions of e-cigarettes tended to look like real cigarettes, in order to better mimic smoking. Some more recent versions look nothing like smoking devices at all.
One brand name that is growing in popularity is the Juul.
It’s designed to look like an inconspicuous flash drive, and is small enough to fit in the palm of the hand.
“'It's a vape, yeah. It's just smaller, more inconspicuous, easier to store,” said Jose Manuel Alejandre, the General Manager of Vape and Smoke in South Bend, Indiana.
“I've been using for about probably 6 to 8 months now. It's just a lot more compact, more inconspicuous, so if I'm out places, I'm not out blowing these giant clouds and all that everyone sees,” said Kevin Ballge, a Juul user.
Some smoke shop owners said they want to make sure underage people are not buying Juul, but not all of their peers are as diligent.
“So many different locations don't necessarily ID like they should. And, maybe they do, maybe they don't. I think as long as we can do the best on our end, that'll rub off and give everybody that notion that they need to make sure that they're not providing for anybody underage,” said Alejandre.
Juul’s company website said it is actively working against the underage use of e-cigarettes.