The Risks of Vaping


The term vaping refers to inhaling vapor from an electronic vaping device or e-cigarette. These battery-powered devices come in many designs. Pre-packaged, disposable e-cigarettes are sold in stores and online. E-cigarettes are not yet regulated by the FDA, so there is no uniform labeling of contents and no way to know how much nicotine or other chemicals are actually contained in an e-cigarette. Besides nictone, e-cigarettes can contain harmful and potentially harmful ingredients, including:

  • Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
  • Diacetyl, a flavorant linked to serious lung disease
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Heavy metals such as lead, nickel and tin

In addition to nicotine, some young people are using vaping devices to ingest alcohol and THC-based products. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that produces a high. No matter how it is delivered, nicotine is addictive and harmful for youth and young adults. Overdosing on vaporized alcohol is a real risk that can be lethal. And the possession of products containing THC constitutes a felony that can have life-long consequences.

Vaping, in all of its forms, is a real and growing health risk among young people, one that RISD is working hard to address.

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