Vaping, or the use of e-cigarette devices by teenagers and pre-teens, is a major concern for health officials and parents. It is the most often used nicotine-related product among youth. E-cigarettes are referred to by many names, including e-cigs, e-hookahs, mods, vape pens, and vapes. Using an e-cigarette is called vaping.

While many youth believe, mistakenly, that vaping is safer than smoking cigarettes, research indicates the opposite. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for kids, teenagers and young adults. E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is addictive and has been shown to have the potential of harming adolescent brain development, which continues into the early 20s. Additionally, e-cigarettes often times contain other harmful substances besides nicotine, increasing their harmful effects. It has also been shown that young people who use e-cigarettes are more likely to become regular cigarette smokers as they get older.

Most alarming is that data shows that if smoking by youth – in any form – continues at the current rate in the United States, over 5.5 million of today’s youth younger than 18 will die early from a smoking-related illness. That amounts to about 1 in every 13 American youth aged 17 years or younger who are alive today.

What are vapes, or e-cigarettes?

  • E-cigarettes are electronic devices that heat a liquid and produce an aerosol, or mix of small particles in the air.
  • E-cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes. Most have a battery, a heating element, and a place to hold a liquid.
  • E-cigarettes can look like regular cigarettes, cigars, pipes, USB flash drives, pens, and other everyday items.
  • E-cigarettes are known by many different names. They are sometimes called “e-cigs,” “e-hookahs,” “mods,” “vape pens,” “vapes,” “tank systems,” and “electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).”
  • Using an e-cigarette is sometimes called “vaping.”