'Jordan North: The Truth About Vaping': TV and radio presenter questions own habit in BBC health documentary

Lancashire TV and radio presenter Jordan North seeks to find out what's really in vapes, and if he should stop vaping himself, in a BBC Three documentary special called 'The Truth About Vaping'.
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Vaping continues to be the centre of many discussions is society, from the decision by the government to ban disposable vapes in the UK in a bid to protect children's health to the Chancellor of the Exchequer announcing a new vape levy which will come in to force in 2026.

It all comes as a new study has found that over half of university students are now addicted to vaping. So, this seems to be a good time for TV and radio host, and vaper, Jordan North investigate exactly what's in vapes, the impact they have on user's health - and ultimately whether or not it's time he quit his e-cigarettes.

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The number of young people vaping has skyrocketed in recent years. Annual sales in the UK are now thought to be £1.7 billion. In the documentary, North, aged 34, explains that he began vaping to help reduce the number of cigarettes he smoked. He tells the viewers, he is aware of the increasing popularity of the product but also of the steady stream of negative news reports about them in recent months so he decides to investigate for the good of his health, and also the health of fellow vapers. 

Once marketed as a safer alternative to cigarettes for smokers, vapes can now be bought in hundreds of different shapes, sizes, colours and flavours, and are available in shops on most high streets. But, many people who now vape never used cigarettes. During his investigation, North finds that there is increasing concern among health professionals about the number of young people vaping and getting hooked to nicotine.

So, like many other vapers, North admits is confused and so he sets out to answer the question: 'is vaping bad for you or not?' This leads to other questions which he also aims to answer, such as 'if so, how bad?' and 'what’s even inside them?', 'how do they work?', 'are they all the same?', 'are some more harmful than others? and 'do we know what the long-term impact of vaping has on our health?'. To help him decide whether it’s time he packed in the vapes, Jordan tries to answer these questions. 

TV and radio host Jordan North is presenting a one-off BBC Three documentary called 'The Truth About Vaping'. Photo by BBC.TV and radio host Jordan North is presenting a one-off BBC Three documentary called 'The Truth About Vaping'. Photo by BBC.
TV and radio host Jordan North is presenting a one-off BBC Three documentary called 'The Truth About Vaping'. Photo by BBC.

Throughout the documentary, North meets young vapers similarly confused about the impact of vaping on their health and whether some vapes are more dangerous than others. He also visits his old university in Sunderland to find out how vapes work and exactly what he's breathing into his lungs. 

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He learns that some vapes are illegal to sell in the UK but appear readily available on the high street anyway, and also finds out that some of these illegal vapes have toxic chemicals in them that could be harming users. 

He then joins Newcastle Trading Standards as they conduct raids on shops selling the illegal products in the city, and he’s shocked by how many they seize. Trying to find out where these illegal vapes come into the country from isn’t easy, and no one can guarantee they have been manufactured in the hygienic conditions we might expect products to be made in the UK. 

To try and find out what effects vaping might be having on our bodies, North also heads to Manchester to meet the scientist behind one of the first long-term studies into the impact of vapes on our cardiovascular system. To close the documentary, he also meets Jemma, a young woman the same age as him, who believes that vaping for the last ten years has had serious consequences on her health. 

At the end of the 30 minute one-off documentary special, he does then make a decision about whether or not he will continue vaping.

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Lancashire residents issues messages of support after it was revealed Jordan North was to leave BBC Radio 1.

34-year-old Jordan, who is from Burnley but moved to Preston when he was 11, has been a presenter on BBC Radio 1 for 10 years and has grown to become one of the station's most popular characters.

The former Penwortham Priory Academy and Preston College pupil started his career on Preston's Rock FM before joining Radio 1 in 2014.

He also started his radio career at Blackpool Pleasure Beach's in-house radio station.

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Jordan has hosted the 'Driving Home' show between 3:30pm and 6:00pm Monday-Thursday with Vick Hope since 2021 but the BBC have today announced that Jordan will be leaving the station after 10 years.

'Jordan North: The Truth About Vaping' is on BBC Three or BBC iPlayer tonight (Wednesday March 20) at 9pm.

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