Clearing the smoke: Taking a look inside world of teen vaping

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has called teen vaping an epidemic, forcing the industry to make some changes under the threat of having certain products pulled off the market.

According to the FDA, vaping has increased 80 percent in high school students and 50 percent among middle school students since last year.

Even though it’s illegal for someone younger than 18 to vape, it’s happening all around us — sometimes right in front of teachers and parents who don’t have a clue it’s taking place.

News4Jax went to Instagram to find young people who vape and would be willing to talk about it. That’s where we found Jared Roney.

Roney has been vaping since he was 17 years old. Like many young people, Roney said he was attracted to the ease and coolness of vaping — and the sweet flavors, which can taste and smell like candy.

“I tried it with my friend and he had multiple flavors, like pink lemonade, chocolate, banana nut and all these other ones,” Roney said. “When I tried it, I loved it. The flavors were phenomenal.”

Roney is now 19 and considers himself a “vape god.” He has a large collection of mods, the devices used to vape, and e-juices that are worth hundreds of dollars. Some of the mods talk to him and respond to commands or play music and light up.

Roney said vaping has always been easy, even when he was underage.

“I would end up going online, forging my birthdate, saying it was ’95 instead of ’99. I’d be able to get all that I wanted with juice or just the mod,” Roney said. “It would work. They would send it to me. They would think I was 18 or older, and I’d be able to get the mod with nobody even knowing that I was 17.”



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