Here's Some New Teen Lingo for You: Dripping

Person with cloud of smoke Person with cloud of smoke
According to research published in February 2017, 1 in 4 high school e-cigarette users surveyed have practiced dripping. pamelaoliv/Getty Images

Just when you thought teenagers couldn't possibly find another way to engage in risky behavior — from increased texting while driving to decreased condom use — we present you with "dripping." And, not surprisingly, it's dangerous.

Dripping is when you pour the (often nicotine-laced) liquid in a vaping tool directly onto the heating element of the vaporizer. Usually the liquid goes into a holding tank where it is rationed out a bit more carefully; dripping, however, allows a much bigger hit of vapor that produces an impressive cloud. Other reasons that teens and adults may practice dripping? Curiosity, a "stronger throat hit" and better flavor.

Recent research showed that the higher the voltage of the e-cig, the more toxic the puff, and another 2016 study concluded that dripping was likely causing more toxic emissions. Dripping directly on the coil seems to produce more aldehydes, which contain carcinogens.

What's worse, a survey of about 7,000 teens from Connecticut high schools found that one in four of the teen e-cig users had tried dripping. It's disconcerting in general, but even more so when you factor in that there's so little research about the long-term effects of dripping — or even vaping, for that matter.

The bottom line? Research seems to point to the fact that there's no "harmless" use