Busting Vaping Myths
Stories about vaping are everywhere these days. But not all stories are based on facts.
Your child is hearing stories from social media, from their peers, from the news, and maybe from school or other trusted sources. Even for adults, it can be hard to sort out fact from fiction.
We’re here to help.
Read below to learn the truth about the top 5 most harmful myths about vaping. Once you have the facts, you’ll be ready to start having open, respectful, and informed conversations with your child.
Last updated May 1, 2022
|Show Answer / Hide AnswerFact #1: The aerosol from e-cigarettes isn’t just “water vapor” – it’s full of chemicals.
Many people think the aerosol from e-cigarettes is just water vapor. Actually, the e-cigarette aerosol has been found to contain:
- Propylene glycol
- Thousands of different flavoring combinations
- Lots of other chemicals, including formaldehyde
- Heavy metals like lead
Nicotine is harmful for young people. Their brains are still developing up until age 25. Nicotine fundamentally changes the way the brain works. When young people use it, nicotine may make it harder for them to concentrate, learn, or control their impulses. Nicotine can negatively affect their mood. Nicotine can even prime the young brain to be more easily addicted to nicotine and other drugs like meth, cocaine, and alcohol.
Many of the other substances in this list cause cancer and other negative effects throughout the body.
|Show Answer / Hide AnswerFact #2: The aerosol from e-cigarettes isn’t harmless – and the effects can be long-lasting.
Exposure to nicotine and other toxic chemicals is especially bad for people younger than 25. Their brains are still developing. The aerosol from e-cigarettes is harmful to brain development. Even if your child isn’t vaping, they could still be at risk. Walking into a bathroom with a vape cloud from others vaping could be harmful, especially if it happens a lot.
|Show Answer / Hide AnswerFact #3: E-cigarettes aren’t “addiction-proof” – and they can be very hard to quit.
E-cigarettes are tobacco products that almost always contain nicotine. Nicotine is very addictive.
Juul is one of the most popular e-cigarette brands in America. Juul uses nicotine in a form called nicotine salts that allow for way more nicotine in a small device than was available before. A Juul "pod" contains as much nicotine as a pack of 20 cigarettes. The nicotine is delivered very rapidly.
Disposable devices like Puff Bars work very much like Juul. They are designed to deliver high levels of nicotine very quickly.
Devices like Juul or Puff Bars are more discreet than cigarettes. They’re small, look like USB drives, and don’t smell as bad. For these and other reasons, young people are able to use them more often than they would a cigarette and could get addicted faster.
Many young people who vape find it much harder to quit than they thought it would be. If your child has already started vaping, the sooner they quit, the better off they’ll be.
|Show Answer / Hide AnswerFact #4: E-cigarettes aren’t just made by tech companies – they’re also made by Big Tobacco.
Altria Group, Inc. is one of the biggest producers and marketers of tobacco and nicotine products. It owns companies like Philip Morris and Nat Sherman. And it owns a stake in Juul. In September 2019, Juul’s CEO was replaced with a former Altria exec, making Juul and Big Tobacco one and the same.
|Show Answer / Hide AnswerFact #5: Teens who vape aren’t protected from smoking – they’re actually more likely to start smoking.
Let's compare teens who vape nicotine to ones who don't.
Vaping teens are more likely to say they plan to try a cigarette in the future. Vaping teens are also more likely to start smoking.
So, even if teens who vape say they don’t want to become smokers, they’re still at higher risk.
Teens who vape nicotine are also more likely to vape other drugs than their non-vaping peers. Once someone starts vaping, it’s not so easy to stay away from nicotine in other forms (like cigarettes), or vaping other drugs.
The best way to avoid smoking is by not using any nicotine products, including vaping.