🌎 Vaping soars

Plus: What if the next missing billionaire is lost in space?

A woman holds a vaping device on May 30, 2023 in Manchester, England.
Photo: Christopher Furlong (Getty Images)

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

Efforts to reduce young people’s vaping consumption are proving unsuccessful. E-cigarette sales, particularly those of the colorful and fruity variety, have soared by nearly 50% in the past three years.

3M proposed a $10.3 billion payment in lawsuits over so-called forever chemicals. The manufacturer is seeking to settle present and future claims of polluting drinking water supplies.  


Ford is reportedly plotting a new round of layoffs. Job cuts are one way the automaker is boosting its EV war chest—the other is federal loans.   

Bed Bath & Beyond is returning in a digital incarnation. Overstock.com bought the assets of the bankrupt brick-and-mortar retailer for $21.5 million at an auction.


The Panama Canal can’t handle large ships. The waterway that funnels 3.5% of global trade has been affected by a drought that has lowered water levels.   

A simple change could dramatically improve H1-B visas

Indian citizens are awarded nearly three-quarters of the temporary visas the US reserves for skilled workers, but renewing them requires leaving the country, which drives up wait times and expense. Some examples:

65,000: Number of H-1B visas the US makes available to companies seeking skilled foreign workers each year, plus 20,000 more for holders of advanced degrees.

500,000: Indian visa holders that could be helped if the program is rolled out in full.

198 calendar days: The average waiting time for an “Interview Waiver Petition-Based Temporary Workers (H, L, O, P, Q)” in Hyderabad, where most Indian techies are based and apply for work visas, in February.


Quartz’s Ananya Bhattacharya looks into why Modi’s visit to the US offers the perfect opportunity to make the lives of H-1B workers in the country easier.

What if the next missing billionaire is lost in space?

he SpaceX Freedom Dragon crew ship with four Axiom Mission-2 private astronauts aboard is pictured approaching the International Space Station.
Photo: NASA

From a passenger’s perspective, a spacecraft disabled in orbit would be similar to one of the scenarios initially considered for the missing (and now deemed imploded) OceanGate submersible in the north Atlantic: A trapped crew with limited resources, enduring a race against time to be rescued.

But while governments dispatched aircraft and ships to aid in the search for the missing submarine, the response to a disabled spacecraft in orbit would be very different: ​​There are no plans in place at NASA or at SpaceX, the only company that can currently fly humans off-planet, for how to mount a rescue in space.


Read about what it would take to rescue astronauts (or a billionaire space tourist) in our latest Space Business newsletter.

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