Electronic Cigarettes (E-cigs) and Vaping

Electronic Cigarettes (e-cigs) and other "vaping" devices are battery-operated products designed to deliver nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. They turn chemicals, including highly addictive nicotine, into an aerosol that is inhaled by the user. Most e-cigs are manufactured to look like conventional cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Some resemble everyday items such as pens and USB memory sticks, and are known as tanks, vape pens, vaporizers, and e-pipes.

According to the WHO 2014 E-Cigs Report, in 2014 there were 466 brands of e-cigs. In 2013, consumers spent $3 billion on e-cigs globally. Sales are forecasted to increase by a factor of 17 by 2030.(1) 

On May 5, 2016, the FDA asserted authority to regulate all tobacco products, including vaping devices. On August 8, 2016, those regulations took effect.  

E-cigarette use among U.S. adults: Federal government 2014 data brief

In its report, "Nicotine Without Smoke: Tobacco Harm Reduction," the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom recommended promoting both quit-smoking medications and e-cigarettes as a way to help people avoid the harms caused by smoking combustible tobacco products.

Poison centers are reporting an increase in calls about exposures to e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine. In 2014, there were 3,783 exposures, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. In the first three months of 2015, there were 975 reported exposures. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Marquette University recently collaborated to test popular e-cig juices: Lab Tests of E-cigs Reveal Harmful Chemicals 

Information is still being collected on risks, and potential benefits, of vaping. It is unclear at this point if e-cigs are an effective way to quit smoking. Research continues.

E-cigs include a cartridge holding ingredients, a heating mechanism, and a battery

UW-CTRI Research 
UW-CTRI is conducting its second study on smoking and vaping.

Use by Children and Adolescents 
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found youth who vaped e-cigs were nearly 4 times more likely to smoke.

According to a June 2016 CDC report3, 44.9% of students had ever tried vaping, and 24.1% had vaped in the last 30 days. Meanwhile, 32% of students had ever tried smoking (down from 70% in 1991).  

Current e-cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014, according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).(2) 

Congressional report on e-cigarettes includes e-cigarette manufacturers’ survey responses related to sales and marketing to youth.

Other Fact Sheets on E-cigs

WHO 2014 Report on E-Cigarettes. Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, Sixth session, Moscow, Russian Federation, 13–18 October 2014.

2) CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, April 16, 2015.

3) 2015 Youth Behavior Risk Survey (MMWR released June 9, 2016).