While electronic cigarettes (“e-cigarettes,” “e-cigs,” “vapes,” “e-hookahs,” “vape pens,” and “electronic nicotine delivery systems”), are generally thought to be less harmful to health than inhaling smoke from combustibles, they still contain toxins and deliver harmful chemicals. E-cigarettes are experiencing unprecedented use among American youth causing widespread concern among health care providers, parents, poison specialists, tobacco control practitioners, educators and others.
According to the Centers for Disease Control's National Youth Tobacco Survey, in 2019, 5 million U.S. middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, including 27.5 % of high school students and 10.5% of middle school students. These recent data show increases from 2018 when more than 3.6 million U.S. middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, including 20.8% of high school students and 4.9 % of middle school students. 2. Electronic cigarettes are particularly unsafe for youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products. National attention has recently focused on vaping-related lung injury. As of November 20, 2019, 2,290 cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use- associated lung injury (EVALI) have been reported to CDC from 49 states (all except Alaska), D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Forty-seven related deaths have been confirmed in 25 states and D.C. Other injury-related consequences of electronic cigarettes include acute nicotine exposure among children and youth caused by swallowing, breathing or absorbing e-cigarette liquid as well as fires and explosions caused by defective e-cigarette batteries, some of which have resulted in serious injuries.
Clinicians, school staff, coaches, parents and policy makers can all play a role in preventing the use of e-cigarettes among youth and young adults. Included in the resource guide are some resources designed to help.