What is an e-cigarette?
E-cigarettes, or vapes use batteries to heat a mix of flavors, nicotine, and other chemicals to make a vapor. The vapor is inhaled and exhaled like cigarette smoke. E-cigarettes come in many flavors and shapes. An e-cigarette can look like a regular cigarette, pipe, cigar, pen, or a flash drive. They can also have marijuana or other illegal drugs in them.
Are e-cigarettes safe?
E-cigarette smoke is not just water vapor. E-cigarettes have fewer toxins than regular cigarettes but they are not completely safe. Most e-cigarettes have nicotine which is addictive and can harm brain development in youth. E-cigarette batteries can catch fire or explode. If young children and pets eat the liquids, they can die from nicotine poisoning. We know less about e-cigarettes than we do about regular cigarettes. We don’t know how harmful they might be, if used for a year or longer.
Can I use e-cigarettes to quit smoking?
Some adults use e-cigarettes to smoke fewer regular cigarettes but e-cigarettes are NOT approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a way to quit smoking. The FDA has approved seven types of medication, including nicotine gum, patches, and lozenges, that can double a smoker’s chances of quitting. People who want to quit should try these medications first. Most adults who use e-cigarettes also smoke regular cigarettes.
What is a JUUL?
JUUL (sounds like jewel) is the most popular e-cigarette for youth under 18. Using a JUUL is sometimes called JUULing. These are advertised mostly on social media. A JUUL looks like a flash drive and can be charged by plugging it into a USB charger. You need a JUUL pod (flavor cartridge) to use a JUUL. All JUUL pods have nicotine in them. One JUUL pod has the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.