While the FDA moves to add regulations, industry insiders defend e-cigarettes and wonder whether new rules would be effective in protecting teens.

Video by Yuming Fang

The National Vape Expo 2019 attracted thousands of e-cigarette users, advocates and vendors as well as public health experts from across the U.S. to the Mohegan Sun casino in southeastern Connecticut.

Without checking IDs, the expo workers scanned the QR code printed on the admission tickets and quickly directed attendees to the security area. Holding a $25 two-day pass ticket, I entered the expo on a Saturday afternoon in mid-March.

The moment I stepped into the event space, a dense cloud of smoke from vaping fogged my eyes and glasses, and I was immersed in sweet…


Some Riders Urge Action on Alleged Safety Flaws

Scooter riders in Santa Monica | By Yuming Fang

On a recent evening, Stacey Lee followed her usual routine, heading to the beach near her Playa del Rey apartment for an after-dinner walk. Lee used to make the five-minute drive to the beach in her car, but when the motorized scooter craze reached her neighborhood, she decided to give it a try. The ease and convenience of a scooter for the short trip hooked her immediately. …


Superior health care and future educational opportunities have women traveling from abroad to give birth in the U.S.

Jenny Qin. Photos: Yuming Fang

Wearing pink pajamas and gray plastic sandals, Jenny Qin relaxes on a couch and watches short videos on her iPhone. She’s in a spacious Rancho Cucamonga, California, residence used as a maternity hotel for Chinese “birth tourists.” She says this is her third time giving birth in the U.S. Then she stops watching videos and shows me photos of her two babies.

Birth tourism is a well-known phenomenon. In recent years, it has drawn well-off pregnant women, mostly from China and Russia, to the U.S. for birthright citizenship (which President Trump has vowed to eliminate). As long as pregnant women…


How a Chinese Surrogacy Agency Operates in California

Photo by Yuming Fang

From the outside, the HRC Fertility clinic in Old Pasadena looks low-key. It occupies a three-floor building with classic reddish-brown bricks. But the interior is luxurious, with a decor that includes a crystal chandelier and bright marble walls and floors. Couples who want children but are struggling to conceive sit on cozy Baroque sofas, awaiting their doctors’ appointments. Some are pursuing a special reproductive service: surrogate pregnancy.

In the reception hall, a middle-aged man in a white shirt sitting on a sofa alone has a different role. …

Yuming Fang

Multimedia Reporter | USC Annenberg Journalism

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