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FAQs about Vaping

By Dr. Brian Stone, MD, CEO, Clinical Diversity Solutions

What is vaping?

Vaping involves the use of an electronic cigarette (or device), which vaporizes a liquid that the user inhales. The vapor contains highly concentrated nicotine, flavoring, and other unknown additives. Some vaping liquid contains THC (the active ingredient in marijuana).

Is vaping better than smoking cigarettes?

While companies have suggested that vaping is

less dangerous than traditional cigarettes, vaping has its own unique risks. Studies have shown that the liquid in e-cigarette cartridges contains hazardous toxins, including heavy metals and chemicals known to cause cancer and other diseases. Most devices contain concentrated nicotine, which is “highly” addictive and associated with long-term brain impairment (affecting memory and attention). Even more alarming is the lack of standard regulations for e-cigarette manufacturers.

Is it true when some teens say they are just vaping “flavored water vapor”?

Some vaping products do not contain THC or nicotine. However, 100% of JUUL vaping devices contain nicotine. Each JUUL pod has the nicotine equivalent of a pack of cigarettes.

What is in the vaping liquid?

The liquid in the vaping cartridges is called vape juice, e-liquid, and JUUL pods. This liquid is then vaporized into an aerosol gas. The most common ingredients are flavoring chemicals, propylene glycol, glycerin, and nicotine. The pods for the JUUL device contain the equivalent nicotine of a pack of cigarettes and contain nicotine 100% of the time. Some vape pods (or cartridges) contain THC, the chemical found in marijuana that causes the high. The vapor from the THC cartridges will typically have no odor to suggest that it is marijuana.

Can you get secondhand exposure from e-cigarettes?

Vaping devices are a source of secondhand exposure to nicotine and the other chemicals in the vapor. Caution is recommended when vaping around pregnant women, people with cardiovascular disease, youth, and non-smokers.

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