In the past few months, information on the health effects of e-cigarettes and vaping have been in the news. As of November 13, 2019, 2172 cases of lung injuries related to e-cigarettes and vaping have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). With all of this information, what are the most important things for you to know about this nicotine product?

Created as an alternative to tobacco products, e-cigarettes are mechanical devices that deliver a dose of nicotine. Vaping occurs when you inhale the aerosolized solution released with these devices. It has become a multibillion dollar industry in the U.S., with more than 450 brands on the market. Often, people who are trying to quit smoking turn to this solution to decrease their use of, and risks related to, tobacco. Although most states prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to youth under the age of 18, teen use is steadily rising.

Here are the facts on e-cigarettes:

  • They go by many names, such as e-cigs, vape pens, e-hookah, e-cigars, mechanical mods and pod systems.
  • They come in many forms and can resemble cigarettes, cigars, pipes, flash drives or pens. These devices can be used to deliver other drugs, such as marijuana.
  • The nicotine solution used is often flavored, such as fruit, candy and bubble gum, making it appealing to kids. Kids who use e-cigarettes are much more likely to smoke traditional cigarettes.
  • Although the solutions contain fewer toxic chemicals than cigarettes, e-cigarettes still contain harmful and cancer-causing chemicals, such as formaldehyde, lead and acrolein. These chemicals are addictive and can cause irreversible lung damage. E-cigarettes have an especially negative effect on kids because their brains are still growing.
  • The most popular e-cigarette used by teens is the JUUL. In the form of a flash drive, a single JUUL pod contains high levels of nicotine—roughly the same amount of nicotine as one pack of cigarettes.
  • Research shows that smokers are actually LESS likely to quit if they are using e-cigarettes. No conclusive data supports the claims that e-cigarettes are helpful to quit smoking.

For more information on e-cigarettes, go to the CDC website: