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Nicotine & Vaping

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E-Cigarettes are devices that heat a solution to a high enough temperature that enables them to produce an aerosol and be inhaled.

E-Cigarettes are known by many different names, and can also be referred to as:

  • E-cigs

  • Vapes

  • Vape pens

  • Mods

  • E-hookahs

  • Tank systems

  • Nicotine delivery systems

Some e-cigarettes resemble regular cigarettes, pipes, or cigars. Others look like pens, USB sticks, and other common items. 


These solutions are most commonly made up of nicotine, flavoring, and a humectant, such as propylene glycol. 


While the majority of these flavorings and humectants are FDA approved for consumption, they have not been approved for inhalation, and the extent of negative health consequences of inhalation remain unknown.

Harmful Ingredients in E-Cigarettes
Image by Pascal Meier

The main ingredient in many e-cigarettes is nicotine, the addictive substance found in regular cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and other tobacco products.

Other ingredients in e-cigarettes include: 

  • Volatile organic compounds

  • Ultrafine particles

  • Cancer causing chemicals

  • Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead

  • Flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical that has been linked to serious lung disease

It is not easy for e-cigarette users to know exactly what ingredients their e-cigarettes contain. Some e-cigarettes that are marketed as nicotine free do in fact contain nicotine.

Disposable E-Cigarettes

Disposable e-cigarettes are the most common among youth today and come in many flavors. Common flavors include mint, menthol, and tobacco. 

Image by Alexander Grey

Studies show that more than 90% of disposable e-cigarettes sold contain the highest levels of nicotine

Image by Alexander Grey

The price of e-cigarettes containing the highest levels of nicotine has either decreased or stayed the same, while the price of e-cigarettes containing lower levels of nicotine are more expensive. Since younger people are shown to be more sensitive to price, they are more likely to opt for the higher nicotine content products.

From 2017-2022, sales of disposable e-cigarettes containing more than 5% nicotine rose from 0% to 90% of the market share. Products with less than 1% of nicotine only accounted for less than 0.1% of sales.


General Information
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Youth nicotine use in any form is unsafe and has serious health consequences. 

Younger users have a higher risk of becoming addicted to nicotine, have more difficulty trying to quit, and are more likely to become addicted to other substances in the future.


According to the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey, over 2.5 million U.S kids used e-cigarettes in 2022.

In 2021, 46% of high school students admitted to using e-cigarettes at least 20 days out of the month, while 30.1% reported using them daily.

Image by Eliott Reyna

85% of youth use flavored e-cigarette products, with the most common including fruit, candy/desserts/sweets, and mint or menthol. 

Research shows that many kids start using nicotine products as a way to cope with anxiety, stress, and depression.

Local Information

The use of e-cigarettes is a continuing problem across Connecticut.


Studies show that 19.6% of adults in CT have reported trying or using e-cigarettes in their lifetime, and 27% of high school aged students use electronic vapor products.

Health Effects

What makes e-cigarettes harmful?

  • Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, two primary ingredients, are toxic to cells. The higher the concentration, the more toxic it becomes. 

  • E-cigarettes emit harsh chemicals such as acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde. These chemicals can cause lung and heart disease. 

  • Secondhand smoke from an e-cigarette can contain nicotine, ultrafine particles, chemical flavorings, volatile organic compounds such as benzene, and heavy metals.

Image by Amir Hosseini

Evidence shows that youth and young adults that use e-cigarettes are at a higher risk of coughing and wheezing, and have a higher risk of developing asthma. 


Nicotine use during adolescence can harm the developing brain, specifically the parts responsible for attention, memory, and learning.

Image by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography

Inhalation of the harmful chemicals and substances found in e-cigarettes can cause permanent lung damage, and can increase the risk of lung disease.

Nicotine can alter nerve cell functioning in developing organisms, specifically during fetal development. E-cigarettes and other nicotine containing products should not be used during pregnancy. 


Pregnant women who use nicotine products have a higher risk of stillbirth and preterm delivery.

Flavored Tobacco & Vapes: Why are they harmful?
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Flavors play a very big role in why youth and teens are so easily addicted to e-cigarettes.

Flavoring these products make them easier to use and harder to quit. 


43% of young users tried e-cigarettes for the first time because of their appealing flavors. 


The most popular flavors include fruit, mint, menthol, and sweets or candy. 


The FDA reports that among current youth users, 97% of them used a flavored product in the last month. 



The FDA is proposing rules to ban sales of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigar products from the market, and many states have begun to ban the sales of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol. Source

Emerging Trend: Oral Nicotine Pouches & Lozenges

Oral nicotine pouches and lozenges are a new emerging tobacco product on the market. Brands of these products include Zyn, On!, and Velo, and the products come in many flavors that appeal to youth.

Flavors include mango, cinnamon, honey lemon, citrus burst, black cherry, and various mint or menthol flavors.


Oral nicotine products can contain as much as 6 milligrams of nicotine per pouch.

Oral nicotine products are derived from tobacco and do contain nicotine. The FDA does not classify them as smokeless tobacco products since they do not contain a tobacco leaf, however they are still very harmful to youth.


Millions of Americans set out to quit tobacco products each year. 


Studies show that nearly half of young e-cigarette users say they want to quit or have tried to quit in the past. 


Evidence shows that quitting vaping is directly tied to improved mental health symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and stress. ​

According to surveys, out of people who quit vaping: 

  • 90% said they feel less anxious, stressed, and depressed. 

  • 47% said they feel more in control

Nicotine is addicting, and there are many withdrawal symptoms when use stops. 

Tips for dealing with nicotine withdrawal:

  • Exercise 

  • Use a distraction

  • Lean on your support system

  • Find other outlets for coping with stress

  • Celebrate your accomplishments

Image by Hannah Busing

Quitting Resources

The Truth Initiative has launched This Is Quitting, an anonymous text service designed to help young people quit vaping.


Text DITCHVAPE to 88709 to start today. 

The American Lung Association also has various programs to assist and support quitting nicotine and tobacco products.

The Law

Tobacco 21

Effective December 20, 2019, the legal age to purchase and use tobacco products was raised from 18+ to 21+.

It is illegal for any retailer to sell any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, to anyone under the age of 21.

The T21 law applies to all tobacco products:

  • Cigarettes

  • Smokeless tobacco

  • Hookah tobacco

  • Cigars

  • Pipe tobacco

  • All electronic nicotine delivery systems - e-cigarettes and e-liquids