7 Things Parents and Teens Need to Know About Vaping

The soaring popularity of e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) among teens and young adults makes it important that users have accurate information about the products and the aerosols they produce. Much inaccurate information populates advertising and marketing of ENDS and can be found on web sites devoted to vaping. Here are some facts users should know.

1. 99% of vape liquids contain nicotine.
Many teens are unaware that most flavored liquids also contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can affect brain development in teens and young adults.

2. The “vapor” that is inhaled and exhaled is not harmless water vapor. The most common solvents used as the base for vape liquids are propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. The inhaled aerosols can contain nanoparticles of heavy metals, such as nickel, chromium, and tin, as well as toxic aldehydes and carcinogens like acrolein.

3. Marketing claims that flavoring agents used are “food grade” or “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) are misleading. GRAS standards apply only to foods and drinks consumed orally. In a paper published by the Flavor & Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA), the association noted that “In this context,” (The Use of Flavors in ENDS and Flavored Tobacco Products), “it is important to note that the “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) provision in Section 201(s) of the Federal Food, Drug, and  Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) applies only to food as defined in Section 201(f) of the Act. And, “None of the primary safety assessment programs for flavors, including the GRAS program sponsored by the Flavor & Extract Manufacturers Association of the United States, evaluate flavor ingredients for use in products other than human food.”

4. Flavoring compounds produce aldehydes, many of which are toxic, during vaping. Many flavoring additives are unstable in and interact with the base solvents once they are added and during storage. As a result, what goes in, is not necessarily what comes out.

5. Teens who vape are more likely than adults to become traditional tobacco users. Some will use both.

6. Although ENDS have helped some adult tobacco users quite smoking, evidence is insufficient to support a Food and Drug Administration classification of e-cigarettes or vapes as smoking cessation devices.

7. The concentration of nicotine in vape liquids is toxic to children and the annual exposure rate increased 1,398.2 percent from 2012 – 2015, although it decreased 19.8 percent in 2016.


For more information about vaping, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products, visit
www.pacecoalition.org or call (775) 777-3451.

*Sources are available upon request.