Quick Facts

Quick Facts
Posted on 12/18/2018
  • Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices that people use to inhale an aerosol, which typically contains nicotine (though not always), flavorings, and other chemicals. In many e-cigarettes, puffing activates the battery-powered heating device, which vaporizes the liquid in the cartridge or reservoir. The person then inhales the resulting aerosol or vapor (called vaping).
  • E-cigarettes are popular among teens and their use is growing exponentially. According to the CDC, vaping by high schoolers jumped from just 1.5% in 2011 to 20.8% in 2018. Even more concerning is the fact that e-cigarette use by high schoolers increased by 78% from 2017-2018 (from 11.7% to 20.8%).
  • Under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations designed to protect the health of young Americans, minors can no longer buy e-cigarettes in stores or online and new FDA action will limit the sale of flavored “juices” to teens. 
  • Research so far suggests that e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes when people who regularly smoke switch to them as a complete replacement. But e-cigarettes can still damage a person’s health.
  • E-cigarettes can lead to nicotine addiction and increased risk for addiction to other drugs.
  • Nicotine stimulates the adrenal glands to release the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline) and increases the levels of a chemical messenger in the brain called dopamine. The activity of dopamine in the brain’s reward system motivates some people to use nicotine again and again, despite possible risks to their health and well-being.
  • E-cigarette use also exposes the lungs to a variety of chemicals, including those added to e-liquids, and other chemicals produced during the heating/vaporizing process.