Vaping is the inhaling of a vapor created by an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette)
or other vaping device.
E-cigarettes are battery-powered smoking devices. They have cartridges filled with
a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and chemicals. The liquid is
heated into a vapor, which the person inhales. That's why using e-cigarettes is called
What Are the Health Effects of Vaping?
Vaping puts nicotine into the body. Nicotine is highly addictive and can affect
Because vaping is new, we don't yet know how it affects the body over time. We
do know that the nicotine in e-cigarettes:
is very addictive
can slow brain development in kids and teens and affect memory, concentration,
learning, self-control, attention, and mood
can increase the risk of other types of addiction as adults
Some people use e-cigarettes to vape marijuana,
THC oil, and other dangerous chemicals. Besides irritating the lungs, these drugs
also affect how someone thinks, acts, and feels.
How Do E-Cigarettes Work?
There are different kinds of e-cigarettes. But many people use the Juul. This e-cigarette
looks like a flash drive and can be charged in a laptop's USB port. It makes less
smoke than other e-cigarettes, so some teens use them to vape at home and in school.
The Juul's nicotine levels are similar to a cigarette's.
Is it Safer to Not Vape Every Day?
Even if someone doesn't vape every day, they can still get addicted. How quickly
someone gets addicted varies. Some people get addicted even if they don't vape every
What About E-cigarettes That Don't Have Nicotine?
Most e-cigarettes do have nicotine. Even those that don't do have chemicals in
them. These chemicals can irritate and damage the lungs. The long-term effects of
e-cigarettes that don't have nicotine are not known.
How Can Kids and Teens Who Vape Quit?
People who vape need the right motivation to quit. Wanting to be the best, healthiest
version themselves is an important reason to quit vaping. Here are some others:
Addiction: Addiction in the growing brain may set up pathways
for later addiction to other substances.
Brain risks: Nicotine affects brain development in kids and teens.
This can make it harder to learn and concentrate. Some of the brain changes are permanent
and can affect mood and impulse control later in life.
Use of other tobacco products: Studies show that vaping makes
it more likely that someone will try other tobacco products, like regular cigarettes,
cigars, hookahs, and smokeless tobacco.
Toxins (poisons): The vapor made from e-cigarettes is not
made of water. The vapor contains harmful chemicals and very fine particles that are
inhaled into the lungs and exhaled into the environment.
Sports: To do their best in sports. Vaping may lead to lung
Money: Vaping is expensive! The cost of the cartridges over
time starts to add up. Instead, someone could spend that money on other things that
they need or enjoy.
To go against tobacco company advertising: Many e-cigarettes are
made by the same companies that produce regular cigarettes. Their marketing targets
young people by making fun flavors for e-cigarettes and showing young, healthy people
vaping. They are trying to make kids and teens of today into their new, lifetime customers.
Unknown health effects: Many of the long-term health consequences
or vaping are not known.
How Can Somone Quit?
For kids and teens who want to quit, it can help to:
Decide why they want to quit and write it down or put it in their phone. They
can look at the reason(s) when they feel the urge to vape.
Pick a day to stop vaping. They can put it on the calendar and tell supportive
friends and family that they're quitting on that day.
Get rid of all vaping supplies.
Download tools (such as apps and texting programs) to their phone that can help
with cravings and give encouragement while they're trying to stop vaping.
Understand withdrawal. Nicotine addiction leads to very strong cravings for nicotine.
It can also lead to:
feeling tired, cranky, angry, or depressed
The signs of withdrawal are strongest in the first few days after stopping. They
get better over the following days and weeks.
What Else Can Parents Do?
To help kids understand the risks of vaping and take control of their health, you