Electronic Cigarettes (E-cigs) and Vaping

Electronic Cigarettes (e-cigs) and other "vaping" devices are battery-operated products designed to deliver nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. They turn chemicals, including highly addictive nicotine, into an aerosol that is inhaled by the user. Most e-cigs are manufactured to look like conventional cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Some resemble everyday items such as pens and USB memory sticks, and are known as tanks, vape pens, vaporizers, and e-pipes.

Are they safe? E-cigs are associated with 2 factors of #cardiovascular risk, according to a February 2017 paper in JAMA.

In its report, "Nicotine Without Smoke: Tobacco Harm Reduction," the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom recommended promoting both quit-smoking medications and e-cigarettes as a way to help people avoid the harms caused by smoking combustible tobacco products.

Poison centers are reporting an increase in calls about exposures to e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine. In 2014, there were 3,783 exposures, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. In the first three months of 2015, there were 975 reported exposures. During January 2010 to October 2015, a total of 98 e-cigarette exposure calls were reported in Wisconsin, and annual exposure calls increased approximately 17-fold, from 2 to 35, according to the Wisconsin Medical Journal. The frequency of e-cigarette exposure calls to the Wisconsin Poison Center has increased and is highest among children aged ≤5 years and adults.
 The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Marquette University recently collaborated to test popular e-cig juices: Lab Tests of E-cigs Reveal Harmful Chemicals 

Information is still being collected on risks, and potential benefits, of vaping. It is unclear at this point if e-cigs are an effective way to quit smoking. Research continues.

UW-CTRI Research 
UW-CTRI is conducting its second study on smoking and vaping.

The first UW-CTRI study on smoking and vaping found no clear evidence that vaping e-cigs reduced smoking or lowered CO levels.

How Many Vape? According to the CDC, 3.5% of U.S. adults vape.

Big Business: According to the WHO 2014 E-Cigs Report, in 2014 there were 466 brands of e-cigs. In 2013, consumers spent $3 billion on e-cigs globally. Sales are forecasted to increase by a factor of 17 by 2030.(1) 

Regulation: On May 5, 2016, the FDA asserted authority to regulate all tobacco products, including vaping devices. On August 8, 2016, those regulations took effect.  

To view a list of vaping regulations by state, click here.

Other Fact Sheets on E-cigs

WHO 2014 Report on E-Cigarettes. Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, Sixth session, Moscow, Russian Federation, 13–18 October 2014.

2) CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, April 16, 2015.

3) 2015 Youth Behavior Risk Survey (MMWR released June 9, 2016).