E-CIGARETTES

WHAT ARE E-CIGARETTES?

  • E-cigarettes are known by many different names.

    • Some examples: e-cigs, e-hookahs, mods, vape pens, vapes, tank systems, electronic nicotine delivery systems, etc.​

  • Some e-cigarettes are made to look like regular cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Some resemble pens, USB sticks, and other everyday items.

  • E-cigarettes produce an aerosol by heating a liquid that usually contains nicotine—the addictive drug in regular cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products—flavorings, and other chemicals that help to make the aerosol. Users inhale this aerosol into their lungs. Bystanders can also breathe in this aerosol when the user exhales into the air.

  •  E-cigarettes can be used to deliver marijuana and other drugs.

WHAT IS IN E-CIGARETTE AEROSOL?

  • The e-cigarette aerosol that users breathe from the device and exhale can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances such as:

    • volatile organic compounds​

    • nicotine

    • ultrafine particles

    • cancer-causing chemicals

    • heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead

    • flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease

  • It is difficult for consumers to know what e-cigarette products contain. For example, some e-cigarettes marketed as containing zero percent nicotine have been found to contain nicotine.

ARE E-CIGARETTES LESS HARMFUL THAN REGULAR CIGARETTES?

  • Yes, but that doesn't mean that e-cigarettes are safe.

  • E-cigarette aerosol generally contains fewer toxic chemicals than the deadly mix of 7,000 chemicals in smoke from regular cigarettes. However, e-cigarette aerosol is not harmless. It can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals like lead, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing agents.

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH EFFECTS OF USING E-CIGARETTES?

Scientists are still learning about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes. Here is what we know now:

  1. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which has known health effects.​​

  2. Besides nicotine, e-cigarette aerosol can contain substances that harm the body.

  3. E-cigarettes can cause unintended injuries.

CAN E-CIGARETTES HELP ADULTS QUIT SMOKING CIGARETTES?

E-cigarettes are not currently approved by the FDA as a quit smoking aid.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a group of health experts that makes recommendations about preventive health care, concluded that the evidence is insufficient to recommend e-cigarettes for smoking cessation in adults, including pregnant women.

To date, the few studies on the issue are mixed.

Evidence from two randomized controlled trials found that e-cigarettes with nicotine can help smokers stop smoking in the long term compared with placebo (non-nicotine) e-cigarettes.

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