Vaping: What’s the Risk?

Update (10/01/19): The vaping dangers we warned of in the following analysis, from September 2018, have become widely apparent. Over 1,000 lung injury cases associated with using e-cigarette, or vaping, products have been reported from 48 states and 1 U.S. territory, and 18 deaths have been confirmed in 15 states. And there are concerns even beyond this current medical mystery. As explained below, scientists have yet to determine potential longer-term risks of vaping in general. For updates, turn to  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information.  

Mango. Crème brûlée. Cucumber. Mint. No, these aren’t just ice cream flavors. They are some of the flavors enticing you to vape.

Electronic cigarettes, commonly known as e-cigs, vapes, e-hookahs, mods, vape pens and pod-based products, are everywhere. Some students believe the marketing that promotes e-cigs as a “safer, healthier” alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes.

But what are the facts, and what is yet unknown? Learn from Stanford experts, Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, and Anna Lembke, MD, in our full report.

Highlights

  • Ecigarettes are now smoked by millions of Americans, including an estimated 2 million teens — and use is continuing to surge.
  • “Safer” does not mean safe. Because e-cigarettes do not contain tar, some consider them safer than tobacco cigarettes. But e-cigarettes contain large quantities of nicotine, a highly addictive substance that is known to have an especially adverse impact upon the developing brains of individuals under the age of 25. (Yes, that includes college students.)
  • E-cigs are addictive. The nicotine level in e-cigarettes is significant, and addiction can occur quickly. Evidence indicates that this addiction increases the likelihood that a user will ultimately become a smoker of tobacco-based combustible cigarettes, known to cause cancer and other serious health impairments.
  • E-cigarettes also contain toxic flavorants and other chemicals.
  • Our conclusion: All e-cigarettes users are “vaping at their own risk.”

Stanford’s most fulfilled and successful students are often the healthiest, so please choose wisely!

Breaking news:
FDA Cracks Down On Juul And Other E-Cigarettes Marketed To Teens

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement his agency has seen “clear signs” that use of vaping devices has reached an “epidemic proportion.” Of specific concern are tobacco products flavored to resemble “kid-friendly” foods, the agency said. The FDA specifically targeted Vuse, Blu, Juul, MarkTen XL and Logic devices, which together represent the vast majority of the U.S. e-cigarette market. If the brands fail to comply with the order, the FDA may order their products taken off shelves.

Stanford Resources