Vaping News

The Grubby Face Of An Epidemic

The true face of the epidemic that has gripped schools has been revealed, and is being shared by others as evidence from their institutions

Share on:
The true, ugly face of the vaping epidemic that has gripped a school in America has been revealed. Others from around the world are sharing it as evidence that their institutions are suffering from the same fate. It is shocking and readers of a nervous disposition are advised to skip to the next article.

The Food and Drug Administration’s focus group told them to tell the world that America had a teen vaping “epidemic”. The Surgeon General, lobby organisations and billionaires gladly used the word in press releases that were lapped up by eager pet journalists. Thanks to a recent exchange on social media the picture is now clearer than ever.

Louise Ross changed the whole approach of NHS smoking cessation programs when she embraced vaping as a valid quit method in Leicester. She recently tweeted from a conference in Portugal, showing a slide illustrating that ever-use did not lead to weekly or daily use.

French action group Jeunesses Addictions Solidarités replied calling her post “#FakeNews”, and added a photo purporting to be confiscated items from a school.

The image is problematic for a number of reasons. Firstly, just nine devices from any secondary school are hardly indicative of an “epidemic”. Secondly, it’s not even their photo. Maybe “#FakeNews” was simply a caveat that they post nonsense and is included to help readers ignore it from the get-go?

Box contents:

  • Five mods with atomisers
  • Seven pods
  • Nine juice bottles
  • Two JUULpods
  • Three loose 18650 cells (nice display of battery safety)
  • A breath freshener

The picture originates from a 2017 “Special Update: Vaping” by Jon Krol, Head of Guidance at Wachusett Regional High School in Massachusetts. Wachusett High is a school consisting of 2,140 students. Even if we assume that all twelve devices have unique owners, this still only represents 0.5% of the school body.

Is this the true face of the teenage vaping epidemic? With its lack of items, it certainly lends weight to the graph Charles Gardner recently shared:

Krol’s document was a joke in 2017, that it appears it is still being circulated as some kind of information source in 2019 is ridiculous.

“Long gone are the days where we might walk down the hall, following a scent trail wreaking of tobacco, leading into the bathroom where a student can be found smoking a cigarette,” he writes. “Today, we are much more likely to encounter weak hints of strawberries, oranges, and bubblegum as students leave their class for a ‘bathroom break’ and take a quick hit from their ‘vape.’ The consequences for both are the same: a school suspension.”

Tough on tobacco-harm reduction, tough on the causes of tobacco-harm reduction.

Posing the question about safety of vaping, he tells parents: “We know it isn't.” Juices, says Krol, “can contain elements of marijuana”. The theme continues when describing how a vaping device works, as they can “be used to deliver cannabinoids such as marijuana and other drugs.”

Krol does his best to look the complete idiot when he comments on his four common “myths” of vaping:

  • “We don't know for sure what's in them. Studies have found toxic chemicals including an ingredient used in antifreeze and formaldehyde in e-cigarettes”
  • “Nicotine in an addictive substance that can have negative health impacts, including on adolescent brain development”
  • “The FDA hasn't found any e-cigarette to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit”
  • “Aggressive industry tactics such as cartoon characters and candy flavours"

Krol states that vaping is linked to chronic bronchitis, bloody sores, lung wounds that won't heal, and even cancer. The only place you will find vaping linked to these ailments is, well, in his own farcical piece of writing.

POTV has tried to contact the school multiple times to see why the document is still available for download and if it stands behind the comments Krol has written. It has been reluctant to provide a response.



  • Louise Ross twitter – [link]
  • Jeunesses Addictions Solidarités Twitter – [link]
Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

Join the discussion

Vaping News

Australia Burns

Australia is providing a shocking vision of how things could be in the UK if it continues down a prohibitionist road for vaping and vape products with violence and firebombings

Vaping News

VTA Releases New Poll Findings

The American public is being grossly misinformed about benefits of e-cigarette use to smokers and low risk of vaping, according to the Vapor Technology Association

Vaping News

Cutting Through the Smoke

The Independent British Vape Trade Association has responded to growing fears about the spread of misinformation about vaping by launching a major public information campaign

Vaping News

Dr Kayat: Back With More Nonsense

Planet of the Vapes reported Dr Sara Kayat to the General Medical Council for her popcorn lung claims – but she’s back on television claiming that vapes are “more addictive” than cigarettes