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.
Recommendations for Users
Anyone who has been using electronic cigarettes may struggle with an addiction to nicotine. If this has already happened to you, you may need to get help from a medical professional or a treatment center that specializes in nicotine addiction. If you accidentally swallow e-liquid, call your local poison control center for help.
Stay away from electronic cigarettes if you've never used them before.
If you vape and want to stop but can't, talk to your doctor about ways to break your addiction.
E-Cigarette Basics: E-cigarettes are marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking, but they are still considered to be tobacco products because most e-liquids contain nicotine.
Quick Facts on the Risks of E-Cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults: E-cigarettes contain nicotine, so they are addictive and unsafe.
What Are Electronic Cigarettes? Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat up a liquid containing chemicals and nicotine to create vapor.
Department of Health Warns of Danger of Vaping: Vaping can cause respiratory illnesses, shortness of breath, coughing, and fatigue.
Teens and Vaping: Vaping marijuana is another popular activity among teenagers, and this can be a very dangerous thing to do.
Vapes and Cigarettes: Vaping is highly addictive due to the nicotine contained in the e-liquid. In fact, a single vape pod can have the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.
Dangers of Vaping: Vaping involves the inhalation of chemicals that can cause illnesses, addiction, or death.
Teens and Vaping: What Are the Risks? Electronic cigarettes can come in different forms, but they all involve heating liquids until they become vapor.
Vaping: What You Should Know: You might think that because you're not smoking them, electronic cigarettes are safer. But the truth is that there are many health risks associated with vaping.
Electronic Cigarettes: Electronic cigarettes might look like cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or even a pen.
Rising Popularity of Juuls: Juul is one brand of electronic cigarette. This type of e-cigarette looks a lot like a USB flash drive, and you can charge it in a USB port.
Vaping and Lung Illness: People who vape can develop a type of life-threatening pneumonia that comes from inhaling the vapor.
Drug Vaping: From the Dangers of Misuse to New Therapeutic Devices: High temperatures are necessary to turn the liquid in electronic cigarettes into a mist or a vapor.
Electronic Cigarettes: For someone who smokes cigarettes, electronic cigarettes might be able to help them quit. But juices used in e-cigarettes also contain nicotine, so they're far from harmless.
Information About E-Cigarettes: E-cigarettes are unsafe due to the harmful substances they contain, including nicotine, which is addictive and harms brain development.
Nicotine and Addiction: Nicotine absorbs into the body and can interfere with brain development.
Vaping and Dabbing Alert: Dabbing is the inhalation of a marijuana extract.
Health Department Warns About the Dangers of Vaping: Vaping products come in many different flavors that appeal to young people.
Ten Things School Principals Need to Know About Juul: Juul e-cigarettes are small, and the pods are even tinier. The cartridges come in sweet flavors, so they're popular with kids.
Vaping and Your Health: What You Need to Know: "Juuling" is the same as vaping.