Learn facts about its safety, FDA recommendations, and laws.

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Youth E-Cigarette Prevention

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What are electronic cigarettes?

  • Also known as “e-cigarettes”, "mods", "vapes", or ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems).
  • Battery-powered devices that heat up liquid mixtures of nicotine and other ingredients to produce an aerosol, not just water vapor, which is inhaled by the user.
  • People inhale the vapor produced by e-cigarettes, so instead of smoking they “vape.”
  • A few look like regular cigarettes, others resemble cigars, pipes, or everyday items, such as pens and USB memory sticks.
  • Advertised by e-cigarette makers as safer than regular cigarettes, we do not know the long-term effects.
  • New to the market in 2007, there are now more than 450 device types and thousands of e-juice flavors.
  • Newer device on the market, is JUUL. Increasing popularity among teens. One pod contains the nicotine equivalent of 200 puffs on a cigarette or an entire pack.

Are they safe?

  • Because studies are limited, we do not yet know:
    • If they are safe
    • How much nicotine is in them
    • Which chemicals they contain
  • The aerosol/vapor coming from e-cigarettes is not harmless. It can contain harmful chemicals.
  • The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has not classified any electronic nicotine delivery devices as safe or effective. E-cigarettes contain ingredients, such as nicotine, that can be toxic to humans.
  • Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug. Use of products containing nicotine in any form among youth, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe. Nicotine affects the developing brain. 

Can e-cigarettes help people quit smoking?

  • More research is needed to find out if e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking. There are no e-cigarettes currently approved or recommended by the FDA as a smoking cessation product.
  • The FDA approved products for quitting include: nicotine gum, nicotine skin patches, nicotine lozenges, nicotine oral inhaled products, nicotine nasal spray, and the medicines Zyban and Chantix.

What else do I need to know?    

  • NH was one of the first states to prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors under 18. Breathe NH and members of its New Hampshire Youth Network helped pass this law in 2010, House Bill1541.
  • August 2016, regulatory authority of FDA was extended to cover e-cigarettes through the agency's "deeming rule".
  • Though the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, FDA has authority to develop regulations that address the manufacture, import, packaging, labeling, advertising, promotion, sale, and distribution of ENDS.
  • Additional provisions of the FDA's "deeming rule" will phase in over the coming months and years.
  • December 2016, US Surgeon General's report: E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults is available at: E-Cigarettes.SurgeonGeneral.gov.
  • More information is available at: NH DHHS Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program - E-Cigarettes.

New Hampshire smoking law states that it is unlawful for any person under the age of 18 to use, purchase, attempt to purchase, or possess tobacco products, e-cigarettes, or liquid nicotine.

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