What are E-cigarettes?
E-cigarettes, including, e-pens, e-pipes, e-hookah and e-cigars, are known collectively as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). According tothe FDA, e-cigarettes are devices that allow users to inhale an aerosol (vapor) containing nicotine or other substances. Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes generally are battery-operated and use a heating element to heat e-liquid from a refillable cartridge, releasing a chemical-filled aerosol.
What’s in E-cigarettes?
The main component of e-cigarettes is the e-liquid contained in cartridges. To create an e-liquid, nicotine is extracted from tobacco and mixed with a base (usually propylene glycol), and may also include flavorings, colorings and other chemicals. Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are loaded with a vaporizable liquid. This fluid is made up of a number of chemicals, among them propylene glycol, glycerol, nicotine and variety of flavoring substances. While these chemicals don’t sound entirely appealing, the new research shows that the real danger may be in how these compounds change when heated.
- A recent study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows that from 2011-2013, the number of never-smoking youth who tried e-cigarettes tripled from around 79,000 to over 263,000.
- More than 3 million middle and high school students were current users of e-cigarettes in 2015, up from an estimated 2.46 million in 2014.
- 16% of high school and 5.3% of middle school students were current users of e-cigarettes in 2015, making e-cigarettes the most commonly used tobacco product among youth for the second consecutive year.
- During 2011-2015, e-cigarette use rose from 1.5% to 16% among high school students and from 0.6% to 5.3% among middle school students.
- In 2013-2014, 81% of current youth e-cigarette users cited the availability of appealing flavors as the primary reason for use.
- In 2014, 12.6% of U.S. adults had ever tried an e-cigarette, and about 3.7% of adults used e-cigarettes daily, or some days.