What Is Vaping?
Vaping Devices, also known as vapes, electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes, e-vaporizers, or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), are battery operated devices that people use to inhale an aerosol, which typically contains nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals or additives. First generation electronic cigarettes resembled traditional tobacco cigarettes, pipes and cigars. These devices have evolved to the point that they may not resemble first version devices. Second and third generation products often resemble pens, USB drives, and watches.
Nicotine Levels May Be Much Higher
The nicotine levels in newer e-cigarettes may be much higher than first generation e-cigarettes or combustible tobacco products, due to the use of nicotine salts. Not only can a nicotine-based solution be converted to an aerosol and vaped, but forms of THC and other illicit drugs may be used in vaping devices.
The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that the electronic cigarette aerosol is not harmless. Electronic cigarettes contain harmful and potentially harmful ingredients, including heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deeply into the lungs. E-cigarettes can also contain acrolein and diacetyl, which are chemicals that link to lung injury and disease. An expert committee from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found conclusive evidence that:
- E-cigarette use increases airborne concentrations of particulate matter and nicotine in indoor environments compared with background levels.
- Exposure to nicotine from e-cigarettes is highly variable and depends on product characteristics (including device and e-liquid characteristics) and how the device is operated.
- In addition to nicotine, most e-cigarette products contain and emit numerous potentially toxic substances.
- Other than nicotine, the number, quantity, and characteristics of potentially toxic substances emitted from e-cigarettes are highly variable and depend on product characteristics (including device and e-liquid characteristics) and how the device is operated.
- E-cigarette devices can explode and cause burns and projectile injuries. Such risk is significantly increased when batteries are of poor quality, stored improperly, or modified by users.
- Intentional or accidental exposure to e-liquids (from drinking, eye contact, or dermal contact) can result in adverse health effects including but not limited to seizures, anoxic brain injury, vomiting, lactic acidosis, and death.
The FDA has not found any electronic cigarette to be safe or effective in helping smokers kick the habit. In fact, using vaping devices to quit smoking may increase the risk of becoming a “dual user”, becoming addicted to both traditional tobacco products and vaping devices. Completely substituting e-cigarettes for combustible tobacco cigarettes reduces users’ exposure to numerous toxicants and carcinogens present in combustible tobacco cigarettes. We recommend using an approved Nicotine Replacement Therapy with a plan to quit. The more you know, the easier it is to make healthy and more informed choices.