The Dangers of E-Cigarettes
E-cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes, but most have a battery, a heating element, and a place to hold a liquid.
The liquid typically contains nicotine—which is the addictive drug in regular cigarettes—as well as chemicals like propylene glycol or glycerin and flavorings such as fruit and chocolate.
Users breathe this chemical solution directly from the mouthpiece. Puffing on an e-cigarette is sometimes called “vaping.” Bystanders can breathe in this aerosol, too, which is exhaled into the air.
- E-cigarette aerosol is not “water vapor.” It contains nicotine and can contain other chemicals. It is not as safe as clean air.
- The nicotine solution in e-cigarettes is not harmless “juice.” Children and adults have been poisoned by swallowing, breathing, or absorbing the liquid through their skin or eyes.
- Additional chemicals that are harmful or may be harmful have been found in some e-cigarettes. These substances include traces of metal, volatile organic compounds, and nitrosamines.
E-cigarettes have been promoted to aid in smoking cessation; however, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has concluded that current evidence is insufficient to recommend e-cigarettes for tobacco cessation among adults, and e-cigarettes are not an FDA-approved cessation aid.
Whether or not you use a stop-smoking medicine to help you quit, people who reach out for help are more likely to succeed than those who go it alone. Help is available by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or by contacting the health educator in your county for information regarding smoking cessation classes.
Quick Facts on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults
Syamlal G, Jamal A, King BA, Mazurek JM. Electronic Cigarette Use Among Working Adults — United States, 2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:557–561. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6522a1.
Dual Use of Tobacco Products. (2017, January 23). Retrieved May 12, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/dual-tobacco-use.html
Any Volunteers? The Risks of E-cigarettes for Young People [Video file]. (2016, December 7). Retrieved May 12, 2017.