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E-Cigarettes and Vaping


E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine, most also contain flavorings and other chemicals (e.g. lead), and some may contain marijuana or other substances. They are known by many different names and come in many shapes, sizes and device types. Devices may be referred to as “e-cigs,” “vapes,” “e-hookahs,” “vape pens,” “mods,” tanks, or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).

Some e-cigarette devices resemble other tobacco products such as cigarettes; some resemble ordinary household items such as USB flash drives, pens, and flashlights; and others have unique shapes. Use of e-cigarettes is sometimes referred to as “vaping” or “juuling.” E-cigarettes used for dabbing are sometimes called “dab” pens.

Additionally, some e-cigarette products are used to deliver illicit substances; may be acquired from unknown or unauthorized (i.e., “street”) sources; and may be modified for uses that could increase their potential for harm to the user.

In addition, some e-cigarette products are used for “dripping” or “dabbing.” Dripping involves dropping e-cigarette liquid directly onto the hot coils of an e-cigarette which can result in high concentrations of compounds (e.g., tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] and cannabinoid compounds).

Youth, young adults, pregnant women, as well as adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not use e-cigarettes. 

Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medications. If you who need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, contact your doctor. 


Use Among our Youth
In 2014, e-cigarettes surpassed combustible cigarettes as the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. middle and high school students reporting current tobacco use. By 2017, more than 2 million teens were currently using e-cigarettes, and parents, teachers, and school administrators across the nation began raising alarm about pervasive e-cigarette use in schools due to the rising popularity of products with high nicotine levels and low aerosol emissions, like JUUL.

JUUL claims to contain as much nicotine as a pack of regular cigarettes in a single “pod,” and even e-cigarettes labeled as “nicotine-free” can still expose users to toxic chemicals known to cause serious health effects. However, awareness of these potential health risks remains low, with about 80 percent of youth saying they do not see great risk of harm from regular use of e-cigarettes.

For youth, this low-risk mentality could have devastating consequences. Teens' brains are still developing, making them especially vulnerable to nicotine addiction. In fact, nicotine can “rewire” the brain to crave more nicotine, and some research suggests these changes could be permanent. Further, emerging evidence suggests e-cigarette use may be harmful to the lungs, and more research is needed to understand the long-term consequences of using e-cigarettes.


Severe Pulmonary Disease Associated with E-Cigarettes or Vaping
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and multiple states are investigating the occurrence of severe pulmonary disease among people who report vaping.

Multiple states across the country have reported clusters of patients experiencing severe respiratory disease after using e-cigarette or vapor products. As of September 26, 2019, 805 cases have been reported across 46 states and one U.S. territory. Twelve deaths have been confirmed in ten states. 

 Respiratory symptoms including:
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Anorexia
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
At this time, it is unknown what is causing or contributing to the symptoms. Symptoms worsen over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital. 

CDC recommends that individuals consider refraining from e-cigarettes or vaping products, particularly those containing THC. People who use e-cigarette products should not buy them off the street and should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances that are not intended by the manufacturer.

If you are concerned about harmful effects from e-cigarette products, call your local poison control center at: 1-800-222-1222.

We encourage the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected tobacco or e-cigarette-related health or product issues to the FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portal.

Tobacco 21
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As of October 17, 2019 it is illegal to give, sell, or otherwise distribute cigarettes, other tobacco products, or alternative nicotine products like e-cigarette/vaping products to any person under the age of 21. See Ohio Revised Code 2927.02 for the law's exact language.

Types of Products Covered by Tobacco 21 Law
  • Cigarettes 
  • Electronic smoking devices (vapes, e-cigs, tanks) 
  • Cigars
  • Pipe tobacco
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Snuff
  • Snus
  • Dissolvable nicotine products
  • Filters, rolling papers, pipes, blunts, or hemp wraps
    Liquids used in electronic smoking devices (whether or not they contain nicotine) 
  • Vapor products (any component, part or additive that is intended for use in an electronic smoking device, a mechanical heating element, battery, or electronic circuit and is used to deliver the product, see ORC 2927.02 for full list)
Download a fact sheet about Ohio's Tobacco 21 law here.

If you have any questions not answered by the information on this webpage, please call toll-free 1-855-OHIO-T21 (1-855-6446-821).

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