Electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigarettes, are battery-operated devices that may look like a cigarette or cigar. They make a smokeless vapor that the user inhales. Because of this, using an e-cigarette is called vaping.
E-cigarettes come in different designs and styles, but have these things in common:
Some e-cigarettes have a rechargeable battery and refillable cartridges. Others are disposable.
Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine that can lead to addiction. Nicotine can affect the way your child’s brain develops. Nicotine causes the heart to beat faster and blood pressure to go up. This puts a strain on the heart and can increase your child’s risk for heart disease and stroke. The liquid nicotine used to refill some e-cigarettes can cause death if swallowed.
E-cigarettes also contain chemicals, including flavorings that appeal to children and teens. These chemicals can irritate your child’s lungs and worsen breathing problems, including asthma. It is possible that some of these chemicals may cause cancer. The vapor from e-cigarettes may also be harmful to people who are near someone who is vaping, similar to secondhand smoke. For this reason, many cities have passed laws against vaping in public places.
E-cigarettes do not produce water vapor. They produce very fine particles of chemicals that may be more concentrated than chemicals in tobacco cigarettes.
Some people believe that e-cigarettes can help them quit smoking. There is no proof that e-cigarettes help your child quit. The FDA has not approved e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking. E-cigarettes deliver nicotine in a way that continues the nicotine and smoking addiction.
Signs of being addicted to e-cigarettes include:
There are some health risks and no benefits for children and teens who use e-cigarettes.
If your child is ready to quit, help him:
See your healthcare provider for information and help in quitting. For more information, contact: