Electronic cigarettes are devices made to deliver nicotine to the body. They appear to be designed like a cigarette, but are battery powered with a vaporizer and mouthpiece attached. These products are made to look like cigarettes, cigars or pipes. According to product manufacturers, e-cigarette cartridges are available in various flavors such as vanilla, menthol and pina colada, as well as varying levels of nicotine.
Using an e-cigarette is commonly referred to as vaping. Popular brands include “Blu” and “NJOY.” Preliminary U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tests of e-cigarette samples showed they contain carcinogens and some toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze.1
Denormalizing Every Kind of Smoking
Allowing use of e-cigarettes in smoke-free areas undermines hard work done to denormalize smoking behavior. Let’s not go backward.2
Use of e-cigarettes simulates smoking. Seeing smoking behavior can be a trigger for smokers trying to quit and glamorizes the behavior for youth.2
E-cigarettes Can Be a Gateway Drug Delivery Device for Youth
E-cigarettes are very youth friendly because of their high-tech design, easy availability online or via mall kiosks, and the wide array of flavors of cartridges.1
Experts have also raised concerns that the marketing of products such as e-cigarettes can increase nicotine addiction among young people and may lead kids to try other tobacco products. California, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Kansas, Vermont and Utah have prohibited the sale of e-cigarettes to minors since March 2011.1
FDA has not evaluated any e-cigarettes for safety or effectiveness.3
When FDA conducted limited laboratory studies of certain samples, they found significant quality issues that indicate that quality control processes used to manufacture these products are substandard or non-existent. FDA also found that cartridges labeled as containing no nicotine contained nicotine and that three different electronic cigarette cartridges with the same label emitted a markedly different amount of nicotine with each puff.3
Talking Points on E-Cigarette Regulation, Contra Costa Health Services Tobacco Prevention Project, April 2013
E-Cigartettes: Questions and Answers, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, September 9, 2010
This information was provided by the North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy (posted August 2013)
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