E-cigarettes are considered a tobacco product by the FDA because most of them contain nicotine, which comes from tobacco. They heat a liquid into an aerosol that is inhaled by the user. These devices can also be called vapes, vape pens, hookah pens, mods, tanks and other names.
Nicotine is present in almost all e-cigarette devices and is addictive. When teens use nicotine, it can disrupt the development of their brain. Along with nicotine, several other ingredients may cause harm to our bodies including heavy metals and flavorings that could cause lung disease. The Surgeon General issued a warning in December of 2016, calling e-cigarettes a major public health concern for our youth. Find out more about e-cigarettes and youth from the Surgeon General.
E-Cigarettes or Smoking?
E-cigarettes have not been proven as a safe alternative to smoking. This is especially true for our youth who aren't smoking cigarettes to begin with. Youth who start smoking e-cigarettes can become addicted to nicotine. Studies have shown that youth who start smoking e-cigarettes are four times more likely to be smoking traditional cigarettes a year later.
For adults, there is no substantial evidence concluding that e-cigarettes are an effective smoking cessation practice.