Madison Langer was 15 when she was offered an e-cigarette for the first time. Her best friend – a varsity athlete she trusted – gave her a ‘Captain Crunch’ flavored e-cigarette that tasted just like her favorite cereal. It was fashionably chrome-colored, and Madison was unaware it contained addictive nicotine or posed other health risks. Craving her own device, Madison bought a Juul and soon found herself using it in school bathrooms and growing more dependent on Juul with each passing day.
As Madison’s nicotine dependency increased, her interest in other activities fell sharply. When she developed breathing difficulties, it was her gymnastics career that went out the door — not e-cigarettes. It wasn’t until later that Madison learned e-cigarettes contained potent doses of nicotine and were negatively impacting her life. With treatment and support, she quit e-cigarettes for good.
But Madison didn’t just quit — she realized other students were similarly addicted to e-cigarettes and younger classmates would fall into the same trap if something didn’t change. Now 18, she became an advocate and peer counselor, sharing her story with policy makers and the media and educating younger students. From the legislature in her home state of Washington to the halls of Congress, Madison has advocated for strong policies to address the problem, including a ban on flavored e-cigarettes.
Now a National Youth Ambassador with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Madison is on the front lines of the fight to reverse the youth e-cigarette epidemic.Back to Stories