E-cigarette aerosol contains nicotine and other harmful chemicals.

Nearly all e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm the developing adolescent brain. Because the brain is still developing until about age 25, youth and young adult exposure to nicotine can lead to addiction and disrupt attention and learning. No amount of nicotine is safe for youth.

Similar to secondhand smoke from cigarettes and other tobacco products, aerosol from e-cigarettes (often called vapor) contains harmful and potentially harmful constituents, such as ultrafine particles, heavy metals like nickel, tin, and lead, and other cancer-causing chemicals.

Exposure may increase risk of breathing problems.

Exposure to e-cigarette aerosol may be a trigger for both kids and adults with breathing problems, such as asthma, increasing their risk of severe asthma attacks. In Minnesota, kids with asthma who are exposed to e-cigarette aerosol are more likely to report symptoms than those not exposed, such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or chest pain.

Health care professionals have a role in preventing youth e-cigarette use.

Talk to your young patients about the risks of vaping and tobacco use, provide education about the harms to their respiratory health and risk for addiction. Screen all patients, including parents, for use of any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vapes. Encourage patients to quit, and refer adults to QUITLINE IOWA and youth to My Life My Quit for help quitting.