What is Vaping?
Vaping is the act of inhaling aerosolized liquid from a device, sometimes called a vape pen or an e-cigarette. The device is filled with vape liquid, it heats up, the liquid is aerosolized into millions of tiny droplets, and then inhaled.
What’s in the liquid?
Vape companies call it “juice,” which sounds harmless. They even use fake flavors to make it taste like candy, cakes, and fruit. But it’s not flavored air. And it’s not just water. Vape liquid is a mixture of highly addictive nicotine, potentially harmful chemicals, and other additives that can damage your body.
What’s in the vapor?
The weird thing about vaping is that the aerosol emitted from these devices almost always contains chemicals that weren’t originally added into the liquid. How can that be? It’s because heating the vape liquid produces dangerous byproducts, including heavy metals like lead, aluminum, and nickel. It’s chemistry at work. And it means that you can’t avoid those chemicals by mixing your own liquid or buying local or organic versions.
But someone’s in charge of vaping to make sure it’s safe, right?
Although the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authority over the manufacturing of vape products that contain nicotine, there is nobody watching what goes into the products that claim to be non-nicotine. It may be years before the FDA considers regulating chemicals used in vape products.
Just ask the chemicals that have been found in vape liquid and vapor.
We call them The Chemical Crew.
They’re all hardworking with jobs that make sense. But when they find out they’re sometimes getting inhaled via vape liquid, they get upset. Which they should, since they can seriously harm your body. Find out what they’re doing to Escape the Vape!
What about vaping cannabis? What is it and is it safe?
Vaping cannabis, also known as marijuana, is when a person inhales aerosolized cannabis concentrate.
Vaping is one way to consume cannabis, and like tobacco, it’s not necessarily a safer alternative, particularly for a developing brain (through age 25). Any cannabis use can have long-term effects on the developing brain, negatively impacting attention, school performance, and learning, as well as placing youth at greater risk for mental health problems.
Remember, you need to be 21 years old to legally use cannabis in Washington state and for all consumers, it is illegal to use cannabis in public or drive while under the influence.
Want more information about cannabis? Check out www.youcanwa.org.
How to Stop Vaping
Help—I already vape (or smoke, or use cannabis)! What should I do?
Don’t stress, it’s never too late to quit.
Quitting smoking or vaping can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Get connected with tools, resources, and encouragement, to help you successfully quit.
- Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free counseling.
- Call the Washington Recovery Help Line 1-866-789-1511 or https://www.warecoveryhelpline.org/marijuana/
I know someone who started vaping to quit smoking—Isn’t vaping better than smoking?
Lots of studies show smoking is harmful. When it comes to vaping, manufacturers don’t yet have to disclose what they put in the liquid, so we don’t know the long-term effects. What we do know is that most vape liquid contains chemicals that can lead to addiction, and may cause cancer and lots of other dangerous—and sometimes weird—symptoms. Bottom line: there are healthier ways to quit.