Someone might say, “I’d never smoke tobacco. But I might try an e-cigarette.” Another person might think e-cigarettes are safe because it is not nicotine. E-cigarettes are battery powered. They deliver nicotine in an aerosol form. They’re also called hookah pens, e-hookahs, vaping pens or vape pipes. Some are disposable. Some are rechargeable and refillable.

How do they work? The Center for Disease Control notes how e-cigarettes work as follows:

  • E-cigarettes produce an aerosol by heating a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals that help to make the aerosol.
  • The liquid used in e-cigarettes often contains nicotine and flavorings. This liquid is sometimes called e-juice, e-liquid, vape juice or vape liquid.
  • Users inhale e-cigarette aerosol into their lungs. Bystanders can also breathe in this aerosol when the user exhales it into the air.
  • E-cigarettes devices can be used to deliver marijuana and other drugs

So the question might be: What is the bottom line on the risks of e-cigarettes for kids, teens and young adults? According to the Centers for Disease Control, we need to remember the following:

  • The use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults
  • Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s.
  • E-cigarettes can contain other harmful substances besides nicotine
  • Young people who use e-cigarettes maybe more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future

In addition, one might ask, “can e-cigarettes help smokers quit?” According to the Food and Drug Administration, they have not found any e-cigarette to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit.

If smokers are ready to quit smoking for good, they should call 1-800-QUITNOW or talk with their doctor about finding the best way to quit using proven methods and FDA-approved treatments and counseling.

For more information on this topic, contact the Harrison County Extension Office at (903) 935-8414.

Louraiseal McDonald is the county agent for family and community health in Harrison County.