What are e-cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are devices that use a battery to heat a liquid nicotine solution (“e-liquid”). The heated e-liquid creates an aerosol that is breathed into the lungs.
E-cigarettes go by other names such as e-cigs, e-hookahs, hookah pens, vapes, vape pens or mods. They come in many shapes and sizes. Some can only be used once, while others can be refilled. Others have a tank which may hold large amounts of e-liquid containing nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals.
E-cigarettes are also used to smoke illegal substances like marijuana and hash oil.
Why are they dangerous?
E-cigarettes and e-liquids come in fruit and candy flavors that appeal to children who may taste or drink the e-liquid.
E-liquids are poisonous if swallowed, and are harmful if the liquid gets on skin or in the eyes. The e-cigarette batteries are also poisonous if swallowed.
Aren’t they safer than tobacco cigarettes?
E-cigarettes produce an aerosol, not water vapor. The aerosol is a mixture of chemicals and small particles that can hurt the lungs just like cigarette smoke.
E-cigarettes are just as addictive as regular cigarettes.
People can become addicted to nicotine from using e-cigarettes and then may start using regular cigarettes.
Do e-cigarettes help smokers quit?
Over-the-counter and prescription medicines are widely available and very effective at helping people quit smoking cigarettes.
Are they safe to use indoors?
E-cigarettes pollute the air with tiny particles that get trapped in the lungs. Just like regular cigarettes, the pollution from e-cigarettes may hurt others.
How do I protect my family and friends?
- Nicotine is a poison. Never leave e-cigarettes or e-liquids where children can get them. Immediately call the California Poison Control System at 1-800-222-1222 if any e-liquid is swallowed, gets on the skin or in the eyes.
- Never allow the use of e-cigarettes in your home. They pollute the air and are harmful to you and your family.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women, children and teens should never use e-cigarettes or be exposed to the aerosol due to the harm nicotine may cause to brain development.
- Support policies that do not allow e-cigarettes to be used indoors and where children are present.
- If you use e-cigarettes or other tobacco products, call for free help with quitting: 1-800-NO BUTTS (1-800-662-8887).
- Download the Protect Your Family From E-cigarettes: The Facts You Need to Know brochure.
Read more: E-cigarettes: Not Safe, Not Harmless.