Enjoy our roundup of stories that piqued our interest this week.

This week we tackle the following:

  • How Juul made vaping viral to become worth a dirty $38 billion - The tricks to addictive product design.
  • 3 North Warren students fall ill from vape pens - E-cigarettes are not always a safe alternative.
  • Criminals are using a new form of identity theft: Stealing business data -  An increasing number of criminals are stealing business data.
  • Over 500K School Staff and Students Hit by Breach - Identity theft has been going on for decades.

Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images


Age ID

Juul is not a cigarette. It’s much easier than that. Through devilishly slick product design I’ll discuss here, the startup has massively lowered the barrier to getting hooked on nicotine. Juul has dismantled every deterrent to taking a puff.

Juul argues it can help people switch from obviously dangerous smoking to supposedly healthier vaping. But in reality, the tiny aluminum device helps people switch from nothing to vaping… which can lead some to start smoking the real thing. A study found it causes more people to pick up cigarettes than put them down. It estimated that in 2015, 2,070 cigarette-smoking adults quit with help from vaping, but 168,000 teens and young adults who used e-cigarettes eventually started smoking real cigarettes daily.

How Juul made vaping viral to become worth a dirty $38 billion

Age ID 

Three students at North Warren Regional School were taken to Newton Medical Center after they fell ill after inhaling substances from several vape pens, according to police.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a single JUULpod contains the same amount of nicotine as one pack of cigarettes. JUULpods are offered in both 3 percent and 5 percent strengths, with 40 and 23 milligrams of nicotine, respectively, in each pod.

The body absorbs nicotine quickly, and nicotine overdose is based on the body weight of a person and the source of the nicotine, the CDC states. Blood nicotine levels decrease by half after two hours, the CDC says.

3 North Warren students fall ill from vape pens

Retail ID

Business identity theft was up 46 percent year-over-year in 2017, the latest numbers available, according to data and analytics company Dun & Bradstreet.

Cyber-criminals "actually take on their client lists or the special sauce that makes that company operate and compete with them directly. In other instances, they're pretending to be that business," Steven Shapiro, a unit chief at the FBI, told CNBC in a recent interview.

At stake are businesses' brand, reputation and trade secrets. One recent case cost the company $1 billion in market share and hundreds of jobs, according to the FBI.

Criminals are using a new form of identity theft: Stealing business data

Retail ID

An individual has apparently been identified and all stolen credentials are now useless, but the damage has arguably already been done.

Breached data includes: first and last name; date of birth; mailing and home address; phone number; student enrollment info; Social Security and/or State Student ID numbers; contact information on parents, guardians and emergency contacts; and staff benefits and payroll info including routing and account number, tax info, and salary info.


Over 500K School Staff and Students Hit by Breach