E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, are battery-operated smoking devices. They often look like cigarettes, but work differently. Using an e-cigarette is called vaping. The user puffs on the mouthpiece of a cartridge. This causes a vaporizer to heat the liquid inside the cartridge. The liquid contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. The heated liquid turns into the vapor that is inhaled.
Some people think that e-cigarettes are safer than cigarettes, and that they can be used to help people quit smoking. But not much is known about the health risks of using them, or whether they do help people quit smoking. However we do know about some dangers of e-cigarettes:
- They contain nicotine, which is addictive
- They contain other potentially harmful chemicals
- There is a link between e-cigarette use and tobacco cigarette use in teens
- The liquid in e-cigarettes can cause nicotine poisoning if someone drinks, sniffs, or touches it
NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse
- Beware of Vaping Products with Unproven Health Claims (Food and Drug Administration) Also in Spanish
- E-cigarettes and E-hookahs (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- E-Cigarettes and Pregnancy (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- E-Cigs, Menthol, and Dip (National Cancer Institute, Tobacco Control Research Branch)
- How to Properly Store E-Liquids and Prevent Accidental Exposure of E-Liquids to Children (Food and Drug Administration) Also in Spanish
- Risks of Vaping: A Look at Safety (National Institutes of Health) Also in Spanish
- Secondhand Smoke and Electronic-Cigarette Aerosols (Environmental Protection Agency)
- Vaping Devices (Electronic Cigarettes) DrugFacts (National Institute on Drug Abuse) Also in Spanish
- Vaping: What Parents Should Know (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Use of e-Cigarettes in Cigarette Smoking Cessation: Secondary Analysis of a...
- Article: Helping pregnant smokers quit: a multi-centre randomised controlled trial of electronic...
- Article: Evaluating the impact of varying expired carbon monoxide thresholds on smoking...
- E-Cigarettes -- see more articles