No matter what you call them – JUULs, e-cigs, vape pens, or electronic delivery systems – the evidence shows that vapor products aren’t healthy.
E-cigarettes contain nicotine, an addictive chemical that is known to affect brain development in youth. Vapor products also contain other dangerous chemicals such as:
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working with state and local health departments to investigate cases of vaping-associated lung injuries throughout the United States. Patients in the investigation have reported symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and fever. Most patients have severe symptoms and have been hospitalized for treatment. Several people have died as a result of their illness.
The exact cause of these illnesses isn’t yet known. No specific product, device, or substance has been identified as a cause. Most patients report that they used vapor products that contain THC. Many patients report that they used THC and nicotine. Some people have used vapor products that only contain nicotine. People who’ve gotten sick have used vapor products from licensed retailers as well as products sold on the street.
If you use e-cigarettes or vapor products, monitor yourself for symptoms like cough, chest pain, or shortness of breath. See your healthcare provider if you are concerned about your health. If you’re ready to quit vaping, find cessation help that actually works.
The use of vapor products has been on this rise among teens.
Why is this a problem? Nicotine can lead to a lifetime of addiction, especially when you start young. Over 90% of smokers today started before they turned 18. And a person’s brain keeps developing well into their 20s. Both nicotine and marijuana can harm brain development.
In September 2019, Governor Inslee signed an executive order calling for actions to regulate and monitor vaping products in Washington state. In October 2019 the Washington State Board of Health approved emergency rules that:
Vapor products with flavors – like bubble gum, gummy bear, and mango – appeal to youth. The ban on flavored products will make vaping less attractive to youth and reduce their risk for lung injury and nicotine addiction.
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) is responsible to make sure that retailers comply with the emergency rules on signage and the ban on flavored products. Learn more about the rules from the LCB.
In 2019, the Washington State legislature voted to approve Washington’s Tobacco and Vapor 21 law. The law makes it illegal to sell tobacco and vapor products to anyone under 21. It went into effect on January 1, 2020.
Raising the minimum age for sale of tobacco and vapor products will help reduce the chances of youth developing lifelong nicotine addiction.
It’s never too late to quit smoking or vaping. Find proven tools to help you kick the habit.
When you quit using tobacco or vapor products, you’ll improve your health and reduce your risk of diseases like heart disease, cancer, and lung disease. E-cigarettes aren’t scientifically proven to help you quit, but these resources will help you find solid ways to quit.
The Washington Recovery Help Line is your 24-hour source for help with quitting marijuana or other substances.