You might see people using e-cigarettes. You might even have tried them yourself. There is a lot of talk about e-cigarettes. Some of it is true, but some of it is not.
E-cigarettes are officially known as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). They are more commonly called e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-hookah, or vapes. You may have seen ads or stories on the internet that say e-cigarettes are a safe way to help smokers quit smoking. There isn’t enough scientific evidence to say if this is true or not. Here’s what doctors and researchers do know right now.
E-cigs work by heating a liquid that has nicotine and other chemicals in it. Heating the liquid turns it into a vapor. That’s what the user inhales and exhales. Some research shows that this vapor includes chemicals that are known to be harmful. Scientists are studying the health effects of using e-cigarettes. New information is coming in, but they don't have the answers yet.
Although FDA is working to regulate e-cigarettes, currently they are not regulated. That means the makers of e-cigs don’t have to say what is in them. There is no way to know exactly what chemicals or how much are in these products.
We do know that e-cigs contain nicotine. Nicotine is what makes tobacco addictive. Nicotine can also affect how the brain develops. Because childhood and teen years are times of important brain development, the nicotine in tobacco and e-cigs is believed to be especially bad for children and teens.
It’s also not clear if e-cigs help people quit smoking or get in the way of people quitting.
Researchers are working hard to find the answers to these important questions. For now, we do not know if using e-cigs is a safe and helpful way to quit smoking, so using e-cigs is not recommended. There are other proven, safe, and effective methods for quitting smoking. Explore the options to find a quit method
that’s right for you.