E-Cigarettes & Vapes

Because a young person’s brain is still developing until about age 25, it is easier for them to become addicted to nicotine, a dangerous substance found in tobacco products and e-cigarettes.

Nicotine is absorbed quickly into the body and goes directly to the brain and activates areas of the brain that make one feel satisfied and happy. Both smoking and vaping nicotine put teens at risk for becoming lifelong smokers. Using nicotine during the teen years can rewire the brain to become more easily addicted to other drugs. It can also have long-lasting effects on brain development, making it harder for teens to concentrate, learn, and control their impulses.

E-cigarettes, also known as vapes, vape pens, or e-cigs, are devices that heat liquid into an aerosol that is inhaled. This e-liquid often contains nicotine along with many other harmful ingredients.

Vapes may look like pens, USB drives, or highlighters, and may be used for highly concentrated marijuana and other drugs.

Why are they marketing to young people?

Vapes come in flavors that appeal to kids because the younger they use them, the more likely they will become customers for life. Teens are more sensitive to nicotine and can feel dependent earlier than adults. About three out of four adolescents who try tobacco products will end up addicted to nicotine as adults.

Flavored e-cigarettes may give off a sweet smell of fruit, mint, or bubble gum. The chemicals found in them may result in a dry mouth, cough, and even nose bleeds. Being virtually odorless and smoke-free, they can be hard to detect. Finding chargers or empty e-liquid containers may also indicate that a family member is using them.

About three out of four adolescents who try tobacco products will end up addicted to nicotine as adults.


Secondhand smoke from vapes contain nicotine, volatile organic compounds, and other harmful chemicals which can cause cancer, asthma, and heart disease.

Thirdhand smoke is the residue left behind on surfaces and in the air contaminating everyone that comes into contact with it – and is especially dangerous for young children and animals.


Aren’t e-cigarettes safer than conventional cigarettes?

E-cigs might seem like a safer way to smoke, but they’re not. A lot of people think that they contain mostly flavored water and are harmless. But, in fact, the heated vapor contains all sorts of harmful chemicals that are inhaled directly into the lungs. Even breathing secondhand vapor from e-cigarettes is dangerous. I’m glad we’re talking about this because it’s a concerning trend, and I want you to have the facts.

What’s the big deal?

Your brain is still growing and changing, and it will be until you’re around 25. Smoking before then hurts your brain’s development and increases your chance of becoming addicted. Using nicotine at your age may make it harder for you to concentrate, learn, or control your impulses. I want you to know these things because nothing is more important to me than your health and safety.

I thought e-cigarettes didn’t have nicotine – just water and flavoring?

I used to think that too. But many e-cigs have large amounts of nicotine – even if the packaging says otherwise. While vaping produces no actual smoke, the poisonous vapor has been found to contain more than 2,000 ingredients – including propylene glycol, formaldehyde, arsenic, and cadmium. These are chemicals that can cause cancer and damage your lungs.

Why don’t you want me to use e-cigarettes?

Because your brain is still developing, studies show that it isn’t safe for you to use any product that contains nicotine, including e-cigarettes. Whether you get nicotine from an e-cigarette or a cigarette, it’s still highly addictive and not good for you.