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E-Cigarettes and Vaping

photo of various e-cigarette and vaping devices

E-Cigarettes- Trends, Facts, and Associated Dangers 

E-cigarettes entered the U.S. Market place around 2007.  Since 2014, they have been the most commonly used tobacco product among youth. In 2018, e-cigarette use (referred to as ‘vaping’ or ‘JUULing’) reached epidemic levels. What are e-cigarettes?Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are tobacco products. Some  resemble regular cigarettes, cigars, pipes and some have a modern, sleek design and look like writing pens or USB sticks. The products are commonly known as ENDS – electronic nicotine delivery system(s).Other common names:

  • Mods
  • Hookah pens
  • Vape sticks
  • Personal vaporizers (PV)
  • Tank systems
  • Smoke Juice
How do e-cigarettes work?Most e-cigarettes have a battery, a heating element, and place to hold a liquid (such as a cartridge or pod). As the user draws on the device, the battery heats the e-liquid to produce aerosol not a water vapor. The aerosol is then inhaled into the lungs. Whether it’s an e-cigarette, vape pen, e-hookah, using an electronic cigarette is called “vaping.” Associated Dangers
  • Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is very addictive and can harm adolescent brain development. The brain continues developing into the early to mid-20s. Using nicotine in adolescence can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. It can also  be a gateway to using other substances. 
  • Some e-cigarette flavorings may be safe to eat but not to breathe. This is because the gut can process more substances than the lungs.
  • A common ingredient in e-cigarette flavoring is diacetyl. Diacetyl causes bronchiolitis obliterans, known as "popcorn lung". It is a scarring of the tiny air sacs in the lungs. This causes thickening and narrowing of the airways, which can lead to wheezing, shortness of breath, and is a serious health concern.
  • Defective e-cigarette batteries have caused fires and explosions. Some explosions have resulted in serious injuries and death. 
  • Children and adults have been poisoned by swallowing, breathing, or absorbing e-cigarette liquid through their skin or eyes.
  • There have been reports of youth and young adults experiencing seizures after vaping. Seizures or convulsions are potential side effects of nicotine poisoning.
National DataIn 2018, 20.8% of U.S. high school students reported using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.  This is a 9.1% increase compared to 2017. From 2017-2018, U.S. middle school students who used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days increased from 3.3% to 4.9%.Texas DataAccording to the 2018 Texas Youth Tobacco Survey, 13% of youth used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. This means that, 18.9% of high school students and 6.0% of middle school students used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.  
Visit our Vaping Website for more information about vaping.

Last updated September 24, 2020