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 drives. The products are commonly known as ENDS – electronic nicotine delivery system(s).
Other common names:
- Hookah pens
- Vape sticks
- Personal vaporizers (PV)
- Tank systems
- Smoke Juice
How do e-cigarettes work?
- 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, and 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.
- Youth and young adults have reported seizures after vaping. Seizures or convulsions are potential side effects of nicotine poisoning.