Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)
E-cigarette use among both youth and young adults has increased considerably in recent years. In 2015, more than a quarter of students in grades 6 through 12 and more than a third of young adults had ever tried e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are devices that heat a liquid into an aerosol that the user inhales. The liquid usually has nicotine and flavoring in it, and other additives. The nicotine in e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes is addictive. E-cigarettes are considered tobacco products because most of them contain nicotine, which comes from tobacco.
Besides nicotine, e-cigarettes can contain harmful and potentially harmful ingredients, including:
- Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
- Flavorants such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease
- Volatile organic compounds
- Heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead
E-Cigarettes and Youth Don’t Mix
Adolescent years are times of important brain development. Brain development begins during the growth of the fetus in the womb and continues through childhood and to about age 25. Nicotine exposure during adolescence and young adulthood can cause addiction and harm the developing brain.
E-cigarettes are very popular with young people. Their use has grown dramatically in the last five years. Today, more high school students use e-cigarettes than regular cigarettes. The use of e-cigarettes is higher among high school students than adults.
E-cigarettes Are Unsafe for Young People
No matter how it’s delivered, nicotine is harmful for youth and young adults. E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine as well as other chemicals that are known to damage health. For example, users risk exposing their respiratory systems to potentially harmful chemicals in e-cigarettes. Read about these and other risks young people face if they use e-cigarettes.
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