Updated: Nov 30, 2021
You might have heard of vaping and electronic cigarettes around neighborhood parks or the school playground. Vaping is the use of devices like e-cigarettes to create a vapor that you can inhale. E-cigarettes are often presented as a safe alternative for people instead of smoking cigarettes, and they are marketed in a way that's appealing to children and teens. Vaping might seem like a harmless and fun hobby, but the truth is that it can be really bad for your health or even deadly. Learn the truth about vaping before you think about trying it, so you can stay safe and healthy.
Is Vaping Safe?
"Vapor" sounds completely safe, but vaping doesn't use water vapor: It uses vape juice, also called e-juice or e-liquid, which is a mixture of chemicals suspended in vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol. One of those chemicals is usually nicotine, the same stuff that makes cigarettes addictive. Vape juice will vary in the concentration of nicotine it contains, and these solutions also include other chemicals that users inhale into their lungs.
Chemicals found in e-juice include acrolein, acrylamide, acrylonitrile, benzene, and ethylene oxide.
Toxic metals found in e-juice include chromium, lead, manganese, nickel, and zinc.
Flavoring agents used in vape juice can cause lung and DNA damage.
Specific Dangers for Young People
Some sources estimate that as many as five percent of middle-school students and up to 16 percent of high-school students have used electronic cigarettes recently, and those numbers keep growing. However, vaping isn't without its risks, particularly for young people whose bodies are still developing.
Nicotine has been found to be harmful for the adolescent brain, causing learning and behavioral problems.
Kids who use e-cigarettes have a higher rate of chronic bronchitis and asthma.
E-liquids can poison children and adults if they are swallowed or touch the skin.