Arielle Chan

This is my ongoing project, 5%. All vapes must state that they contain 5% nicotine. This number is often used to market safe smoking. I began this project while shooting photos of my friends in my high school girls bathroom. I realized  there was a community created around vaping in the bathroom. We all know the effects of vaping, but girls continue to use it for their own reasons. I began interviewing girls and having them write on analytical paper about why they vape and their experiences with vaping. Nearly every girl I interviewed shared common struggles that led to their vaping. While every girl's experience is different, their struggles, such as mental illness, body image, peer pressure, and family issues, somehow all align with one another. I want people to move past the terrifying health statistics about vaping and try to understand the reasons why girls are turning to it. This project gives people access to these important stories.


Arielle Chan is a 17-year-old artist from Chinatown, New York and New Jersey. Her artistic influences began at a young age through her creating sculptures, performance pieces, iMovie short films, and a slime business. She was initially introduced to photography in the spring of 2022 with a point-and-shoot analog camera, and fell in love with the process of making pictures and connecting with what was in front of her camera. Most of her photos capture the world around her. She uses photography to document the things she sees that interest her and make her feel.