What Next

How Vaping Escaped Stiff Regulation

Why don’t we know exactly what’s in our e-cigarettes?

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Episode Notes

This summer, the explosion of vaping-related illnesses sent medical researchers on an urgent quest to figure out why teenagers were showing up at the hospital unable to breathe. Years before this became a public health crisis, federal regulators had the power to crack down on e-cigarettes. Why didn’t they do it?

Guest: Desmond Jenson, an attorney with the Public Health Law Center at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, Danielle Hewitt, and Mara Silvers.

About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.