What are Electronic Cigarettes?
E-cigarettes, called vape by the tobacco industry, are considered a tobacco product by the FDA because most of them contain nicotine, which comes from tobacco. They heat a liquid into an aerosol that is inhaled by the user. These devices are also called vapes, vapes pens, hookah pens, mods, tanks and many other names. Though we don’t know every ingredient in e-cigarettes, they may contain several ingredients that can cause harm to our bodies, especially among youth. The Surgeon General issued a warning in December of 2016, calling e-cigarettes a major public health concern for our youth. Find out more about e-cigarettes and youth from the Surgeon General - https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov
Though we don’t know all of the ingredients in e-cigarettes, we know a few. Nicotine is present in almost all e-cigarette devices and is addictive. When teens use nicotine, it can disrupt the development of their brain. Along with nicotine, several other ingredients may be present and are known to cause harm to our bodies, including heavy metals and flavorings that can cause lung disease.
E-Cigarettes Vs. Smoking
E-cigarettes have not been proven as a safe alternative to smoking. This is especially true for our youth who aren’t smoking cigarettes in the first place. Youth who start smoking e-cigarettes can become addicted to nicotine and studies have shown that youth who start smoking e-cigarettes are 4x more likely to be smoking traditional cigarettes a year later1. For adults, there is no substantial evidence concluding that e-cigarettes are an effective smoking cessation practice.
1Miech, Richard, and Megan Patrick. “E-Cigarette Use as a Predictor of Cigarette Smoking: Results from a 1-Year Follow-up of a National Sample of 12th Grade Students.” Tobacco Control, BMJ Journals, tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2017/01/04/tobaccocontrol-2016-053291?papetoc.