E-cigarettes have many names. Sometimes it is difficult for people to grasp the truth about these devices. These are some common questions that people have about e-cigarettes.
You can also find shorter versions of this information within our handouts and resources for youth and parents:
There are many terms for electronic cigarettes, such as e-cigs and electronic nicotine delivery methods, alternative smoking delivery systems, NEO Demi, hookahs, mods, and vape pens.
There are many options for e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes may look similar to cigarettes, cigars, and pipes, as well as pens, USB flash drives, and other forms.
The E-cigarette contains a battery, heating element, cartridge, or tank, that holds the e-liquid, as well as a mouthpiece that allows you to inhale the aerosol.
Although E-cigarettes are not made from tobacco, they do contain nicotine. Nicotine is the main ingredient in tobacco. E-cigarettes are classified by the Food and Drug Administration as “tobacco products” because of this.
E-cigarettes are often called “vaping” as many believe they produce a vapor that can be inhaled. However, e-cigarettes create an aerosol composed of tiny particles that are distinct from vapor.
How Do E-Cigarettes Function?
E-cigarettes heat liquids (e-liquid, juice) to create an aerosol (sometimes called a vapor). This is what E-cigarette smokers inhale into their lungs.
The Vapor In An E-Cigarette
The term “vapor”, although it may sound innocent, is harmful because the aerosol produced by an e-cigarette is not water vapor. The aerosol produced by an e-cigarette may contain nicotine and other addictive substances. These substances can cause lung disease, heart disease, cancer, and even death.
Important to note that most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Evidence has shown that nicotine may harm teenagers’ brain development. Pregnancy may lead to premature births or low birth weight babies if nicotine is used.
E-cigarettes, and e-cigarette vapor, typically contain propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin. These substances, used for stage or theatrical fog, have been shown to cause lung irritation and increased airway irritation when exposed to high concentrations.
Additionally, E-Cigarettes Or E-Cigarette Vapor May Contain Any Of The Chemicals Or Substances That Are Listed Below
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), VOCs may cause eye, nose, and throat irritation at certain levels. They can also cause nausea and damage the liver, kidney, or nervous system.
Flavoring chemical some flavors are more dangerous than others. Studies have shown that certain flavors can contain different levels of diacetyl which has been linked to serious lung diseases like bronchiolitis.
Formaldehyde is a carcinogen that can form in e-liquids that are too hot or do not have enough liquid to reach the heating element. (also called a “dry-puff”)
FDA currently does not require the testing of every substance in e-cigarettes. It is also difficult to determine exactly which chemicals are contained in an e-cigarette, as most products don’t list any potentially harmful substances. Some products are incorrectly labeled.
It’s important that you know the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has stated that e-cigarette products can be altered or modified and may contain harmful or illegal substances coming from unknown sources. The CDC newsroom has more information about this statement.