For much of the last year, the most-read story on sciencenews.org was not about a faraway exoplanet or a cunning creature’s adaptations to an exotic locale. It was a short report, in some ways unsurprising. In 26 different weeks since it appeared in June 2014, the story at the top of our weekly tab was Janet Raloff’s article on the emerging science about the risks of e-cigarettes. It eventually garnered almost 1.2 million unique page views.
That story also ran in the magazine (SN: 6/28/14, p. 9), but its extended life online has impressed us. People shared the article on mobile devices, circulating it well beyond our usual science-interested crew. It’s clear that people want to know about the health effects of e-cigarettes, a relatively