E-cigarettes are battery operated disposable or
rechargeable drug delivery devices. There are many
different types of e-cigarettes but most contain a
battery and atomizer that heat up a liquid into a
vapor that is inhaled. Most often the liquid
contains nicotine, flavor, and other chemicals.
Are E-Cigarettes Safe to Use?
- E-cigarettes may contain known harmful
FDA testing found that they contain carcinogens,
which are substances that cause cancer. They also
found that the e-cigarettes tested had varying
levels of nicotine, which is highly addictive, that
did not always match what the packaging said.
- E-cigarettes are currently unregulated, which means
there is no way of knowing how much nicotine or
other chemicals they contain. Based on this
information and no scientific studies demonstrating
they are safe to use, e-cigarettes are considered a
potential health risk.
- Very young children are at a
higher risk for accidental exposure to liquid
nicotine that may be contained in the cartridges.
Nicotine can be toxic if ingested. If an e-cigarette
cartridge is broken, it could poison a child or pet.
Like other toxics, e-cigarettes should be kept up
and away from young children. For more
information, visit the
Washington Poison Center website.
- Nicotine is a highly addictive
drug. Additionally the long term health
effects of inhaling quantities of liquid
nicotine are unknown.
Do E-Cigarettes Help You Stop Smoking?
E-Cigarettes are not medically approved cessation
devices, which means they are not recommended to
help you stop smoking. There are safe and effective
cessation options available. You can learn more
about medically approved cessation options at:
Youth and E-Cigarettes
One major concern about e-cigarettes is that they
are being marketed to young people. Recent research
shows the dramatic increase in the advertising to
young people on cable television. For more
*Office Journal of the
American Academy of Pediatrics
This is a concern because nicotine use of any
kind for teenagers is unsafe. It is a highly
drug and it effects brain development. You can
read how nicotine effects brain development in the
2014 US Surgeon General Report. For more
There are also concerns that using e-cigarettes
may lead young people to using other nicotine
products like hookah and cigarillos (flavored
cigars) which we know can lead to disease and
premature death. Over 90% of people who become
regular tobacco users start smoking before age 18.
We know from recent reports and local data that
youth are using e-cigarettes. A recent CDC report
||“More than a
quarter of a million youth who had never
smoked a cigarette used electronic
cigarettes in 2013.”
||"Youth who had never smoked
conventional cigarettes but who used
e-cigarettes were almost twice as likely
to have intentions to smoke conventional
cigarettes as those who had never used
Resources for Parents