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Is e-cigarette and vaping the same?

E-cigarettes, vapes, vape or hookah pens, vaporizers, e-pipes, vape watches, and other electronic nicotine delivery products are battery-powered electronic devices that utilize a liquid, often referred to as e-liquid or e-juice, which is heated to produce an aerosol. These devices come in various forms, ranging from those resembling traditional cigarettes to others resembling everyday items such as pens, USB drives, highlighting markers, or vibrant toy-like objects. It is important to note that e-cigarettes pose risks and are not considered safe for use by youth, young adults, pregnant women, and can also be hazardous for adults who use tobacco products.

Electronic cigarettes can include substances that are potentially harmful, including nicotine and chemicals known to cause cancer. Although e-cigarettes generally contain fewer chemicals compared to conventional cigarettes, studies have indicated that they carry their own distinct health risks and may elevate the likelihood of chronic cough, phlegm production, bronchitis, and asthma. It is noteworthy that some individuals who smoke traditional cigarettes have shifted to using electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or vaping under the assumption that it is less hazardous.

Middle and high school students constitute the primary demographic for the use of alternative smoking products. Recent surveys on youth tobacco use have indicated that e-cigarette usage has exceeded that of traditional cigarettes, making it the most prevalent tobacco product among young individuals. Additionally, these surveys have shown that many youths perceive vaping as safe and may not be aware that e-cigarettes contain nicotine. The inconspicuous appearance of vaping devices, resembling everyday objects, makes it easy for middle and high school students to conceal their usage. Moreover, the availability of “vape wear,” including backpacks and hoodies, provides a means for users to vape discreetly while hiding the device.

What is the difference between e-cigarettes and vaping?

The term “e-cigarettes” pertains to the device itself, while “vaping” denotes the act of using the device.

What do e-cigarettes look like?

Certain e-cigarettes resemble conventional cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. They vary in appearance, with some resembling USB flash drives, pens, and other common items. Larger devices, such as tank systems or “mods,” have a distinct appearance and do not resemble traditional tobacco products.

What are some common names used for e-cigarettes?

They are occasionally referred to as e-cigs, e-hookahs, mods, vape pens, vapes, tank systems, and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).

How do e-cigarettes work?


E-cigarettes generate an aerosol by heating a liquid, commonly known as e-juice, e-liquid, vape juice, or vape liquid. This liquid typically includes nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals that form the aerosols. Users inhale the e-cigarette aerosol into their lungs, and bystanders can also involuntarily breathe in the aerosol when the user exhales it into the air. It’s worth noting that e-cigarette devices can be adapted to deliver marijuana and other drugs.

What can parents and adults do to help protect youth and young adults?

Lead by example by refraining from using tobacco products. Explore various methods to quit smoking and choose one that suits you. Establish and enforce tobacco-free areas, such as your home and car. Engage in regular conversations about the hazards of smoking and e-cigarettes. Share reliable, evidence-based information about the risks of using e-cigarettes and tobacco products from trusted resources. Be mindful of your language, as many e-cigarette users may not identify themselves as “smokers.”

What is the bottom line on the risks of e-cigarettes for kids, teens, and young adults?

The utilization of e-cigarettes poses risks for children, adolescents, and young adults. The majority of e-cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance that can adversely impact the ongoing development of the adolescent brain, extending into the early to mid-20s. E-cigarettes may also contain detrimental substances, including carcinogens, compounds associated with severe lung diseases, and heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead. Individuals who use e-cigarettes during youth may have an increased likelihood of transitioning to traditional cigarette smoking in the future. Vaping has detrimental effects on oral and lung health and can lead to adverse outcomes during and after pregnancy.Vaping can cause asthma in those who are exposed over time. 

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