E-Cigarettes and Vaping

When it comes to electronic cigarettes, separating fact from fiction can be a challenge. Know the truth about vaping and how it can affect your health.


What are electronic cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes — also known as e-cigarettes, e-cigs, vapes — are handheld, battery-powered devices that produce a vapor which smokers inhale. These products heat a liquid (often called an “e-liquid” or sometimes “juice”). This liquid usually contains nicotine, flavorings and other ingredients. E-cigarette use is commonly referred to as vaping.

What are the different types of e-cigarettes?

Vaping devices used to look like traditional cigarettes and tobacco pipes, but have evolved into numerous shapes and sizes. They are sold under such product names like vape pens, e-hookahs, e-cigars, mods, and vapes. Vaping has surged in popularity, especially among teens. Vaping appeals to youth with its flavored liquids and discrete design.

View our guide to spotting different vaping devices

Who smokes e-cigarettes?

While vaping is widespread among different age groups, the number of young people smoking is of particular concern. Between 2017 and 2018, the number of youth using e-cigarettes increased by 1.5 million. Now, more than one out of every four high school students reports using e-cigarettes. 

Why are e-cigarettes bad?

E-cigarette ‘vapor’ isn’t just water. Studies have found at least 60 different chemicals in e-liquids. They are also unregulated, so their full contents are unknown.

No one makes sure these products are safe. Usually the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) works to make sure companies follow certain safety rules and don’t make products that are bad for you. Right now the vaping industry is fighting to keep the FDA from testing its products. 

Many e-liquids have addictive nicotine in them.  Once you start vaping, you could have trouble stopping. Nicotine can also affect adolescent brain development. 

We don’t know the long term health effects. The CDC has reported hundreds of illnesses and multiple deaths across the country. Vaping may cause lifelong damage even if done for a short period of time. We also know vaping can make certain lung illnesses like asthma worse. 

Studies show young people who vape are more likely to use conventional cigarettes. The tobacco industry is hooking a whole new generation by dressing up cigarettes in new technology and sweet flavors.