Top 5 E-Cigarette Myths

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about e-cigarettes, Juuling and vaping. Here’s what you need to know about these harmful products.

  1. They are not regulated. E-cigarette manufacturers are not yet required to disclose the chemicals in their products, where they are manufactured, how they are made, or the potential health risks they pose.1
  2. They are not safe, nor harmless. E-cigarettes contain harmful chemicals, including some of the same toxic chemicals found in regular cigarettes, such as nicotine, formaldehyde, and lead.2 3 While these toxic chemicals may be at lower levels compared to regular cigarettes, they remain harmful and can cause cancer, birth defects, or other health problems. 4
  3. They are not “just water vapor.” E-cigarette users don’t inhale or exhale water vapor. E-cigarettes produce an aerosol that pollutes the air.5 The aerosol is a mixture of nicotine, tiny particles of metals, and includes some of the same harmful toxic chemicals found in secondhand cigarette smoke.2 6
  4. They are addictive. E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. The nicotine levels vary widely among products but the most popular devices among teens and young adults look like flash drives and water enhancers. One JUUL pod can contain as much nicotine as one pack of cigarettes or 200 puffs.7 While many cigarette smokers try e-cigarettes because they think they’re a safer alternative or will help them quit, studies show that e-cigarettes do not help people quit smoking cigarettes.8 Instead, smokers end up using both products, which increases their risk for developing chronic diseases. 9
  5. They are attracting kids. With more than 15,500 flavors,10 a variety of colorful packaging, tech appeal, and engaging advertising, e-cigarettes are very appealing to kids and teens. E-cigarettes and e-liquids come in a wide variety of candy and fruit flavors, such as cherry crush, cotton candy, and chocolate mint. The numbers don’t lie. In just one year, from 2017 to 2018, there has been a seventy-eight percent increase in high school student e-cigarette use, with more than two-thirds of high school e-cigarette users choosing flavored e-cigarettes specifically.11

Below are steps you can take to protect you and your loved ones.

  1. Call 1-800-NO-VAPE for free tips to break your addiction to nicotine or visit https://www.nobutts.org/youthvaping
  2. Call poison control (1-800-222-1222) if you suspect a child has ingested an e-cigarette product.
  3. Ask others not to use e-cigarettes around you.
  4. Make sure your employer enforces the law prohibiting e-cigarette use in your workplace.
  5. Don’t allow e-cigarettes to be used in your home or car.
  6. To learn more about how flavors are hooking kids, visit www.flavorshookkids.org.

References renameme

  1. Glantz S. 9 chemicals identified so far in e-cig vapor that are on the California Prop 65 list of carcinogens and reproductive toxins [blog post]. tobacco.ucsf.edu. Published July 20, 2013. Accessed April 16, 2019.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nicotine: Systemic agent. cdc.gov. Page reviewed May 12, 2011. Accessed April 16, 2019.x
  3. Czogala J, Goniewicz ML, Fidelus B, Zielinska-Danch W, Travers MJ, Sobczak A. Secondhand exposure to vapors from electronic cigarettes. Nicotine Tob Res. 2013;16(6):655–662. doi:10.1093/ntr/ntt203.
  4. Williams M, Villarreal A, Bozhilov K, Lin S, Talbot P. Metal and silicate particles including nanoparticles are present in electronic cigarette cartomizer fluid and aerosol. PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e57987. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057987
  5. American Cancer Society. What do we know about e-cigarettes? cancer.org. Revised November 21, 2018. Accessed April 17, 2019.
  6. Weaver SR, Huang J, Pechacek TF, Heath JW, Ashley DL, Eriksen MP. Are electronic nicotine delivery systems helping cigarette smokers quit? Evidence from a prospective cohort study of U.S. adult smokers, 2015-2016. PLoS One. 2018;13(7):e0198047. Published 2018 Jul 9. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0198047
  7. Popova L, Ling PM. Alternative tobacco product use and smoking cessation: a national study. Am J Public Health. 2013;103(5):923–930. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.301070
  8. Martínez Ú, Martínez-Loredo V, Simmons VN et al. How Does Smoking and Nicotine Dependence Change after Onset of Vaping? A Retrospective Analysis of Dual Users. Nicotine Tob Res. 2019. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntz043