About the Project

Learn a little bit more about the ACE Project and the things we’re studying!


The project has now ended and is no longer recruiting.

About Us


E-cigarette use or “vaping” has significantly increased over the last 5 years and is a growing concern at high schools across the nation and in Florida. The number of high school students in Florida using e-cigarettes is dramatically increasing each year, and nearly 1 out of 6 students now report using them. The number of children and adolescents who have tried e-cigarettes is particularly alarming (25%), because teens who use e-cigarettes are more likely to start smoking regular cigarettes. Many e-liquids used in e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive drug. Because the adolescent brain is still developing, nicotine use during this age can affect teen’s susceptibility to addiction and possibly lead to a lifelong struggle with addiction. E-cigarettes have simply not been around long enough for research studies to fully understand their impact on health, the brain, and what leads to their use in the first place. A better understanding of these issues will help improve prevention efforts.

What We Do

Eligible teens and their families will be invited to FIU’s main campus to complete surveys and potentially an MRI brain scan. Surveys will be completed on iPads during a conveniently scheduled visit with ACE Project staff members. Filling out these surveys should take about 1.5 to 2 hours. Afterward, both the teen and their parent will be compensated for their time. If the teen is eligible, they may choose to participate in the second portion of the study which consists of an MRI brain scan. This procedure is completely safe and will last 90 minutes. The MRI visit will last up to 4 hours in total; this includes participant safety screening, thinking task training, and MRI practice training. Participants will be compensated for this portion of the project as well. Please note that the survey and MRI visits do not have to be completed on the same day.

Year Project

Staff Members

Teen Participants

School Partners (so far!)

From everyone at the ACE Project, Welcome!

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