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)
- CDC Vital Signs: E-cigarette Ads and Youth (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- DrugFacts: Vaping Devices (Electronic Cigarettes) (National Institute on Drug Abuse) Also in Spanish
- E-Cigarettes (For Parents) (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- E-Cigarettes (For Teens) (Nemours Foundation)
- E-cigarettes and E-hookahs (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- E-Cigs, Menthol, and Dip (National Cancer Institute, Tobacco Control Research Branch)
- Electronic Cigarettes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Quick Facts on the Risks of E-Cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Risks of Vaping: A Look at Safety (National Institutes of Health) Also in Spanish
- Teens Using E-cigarettes May Be More Likely to Start Smoking Tobacco (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Medium- and longer-term cardiovascular effects of e-cigarettes in adults making a...
- Article: Message Source Credibility and E-Cigarette Harm Perceptions among Young Adults.
- Article: Analyzing Trajectories of Acute Cigarette Reduction Post-Introduction of an E-Cigarette Using...
- E-Cigarettes -- see more articles