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Young adult female using a vaping device and blowing vaping mist.
3 min read

Why Vaping Matters — With and Without Nicotine

Vaping is smoking using electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). Some contain nicotine. Others don’t. But both can be dangerous to your health. Either may lead to lasting damage for users and those around them.

Many people believe that vaping is an effective cessation method to quit smoking cigarettes, but that’s not true. Up to this point, the FDA has not approved a single e-cigarette product as a quit method. Despite the myth that vaping is safer than cigarettes, “safer” doesn’t mean “safe.” The risks of e-cigarettes may be just as harsh as the risks of traditional smoking.

Whether or not you have used tobacco products before, vaping is potentially disastrous to your health. Use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, in the U.S. is one of the most common causes of preventable disease, disability and death.  Here’s what you need to know about vaping.

What are e-cigarettes?

E-cigarettes are electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). These e-cigarette devices are equipped to deliver nicotine, cannabis (THC and CBD), flavorings, harmful chemicals and more, according to the CDC.

As e-cigarettes have grown in popularity, they have changed and developed. There are four generations of e-cigarettes, all varying in shapes and sizes.

Some look like traditional cigarettes. Others look like USB devices and other everyday items. Each generation is just as dangerous as the last.


How is vaping harmful?

When you inhale from an e-cigarette, you’re welcoming an aerosol that contains a dangerous blend of chemicals into your body. And when you exhale, those chemicals spread in the air around you.

Vaping this aerosol or being exposed to it secondhand or thirdhand puts you at risk of many serious health problems.

Risks of Vaping
  • Bad Breath
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Higher Cancer Risk
  • Higher Risk of Lung Disease
  • Less Responsive Immune System 
  • Decreased Brain Function in Developing Minds
  • Increased Mental Health Concerns (Such as Anxiety, Stress and Depression)
  • Nicotine Addiction
  • Increased Risk of Future Addiction to Other Drugs

The dangers of vaping juice aren’t limited to the air. Having vape juice lying around is unsafe, too. Swallowing, breathing and absorbing e-cigarette liquid from vape cartridges has poisoned both children and adults.

The CDC reports that across the United States, children five years old or younger make up about 50 percent of the calls made to poison control centers for e-cigarettes.

youth risk

Big tobacco targets youth and young adults with advertisements featuring “fun” flavors like candy, fruit and other flavors that appeal to kids and young adults. These flavored e-liquids make vaping seem fun and harmless, but they have toxic effects on your cells.

Vaping isn’t fun, despite what friends say. It’s harmful to your health and to your mind.

Until the age of 25, the brain is still developing, which means that vaping and using tobacco products of any kind are especially dangerous. It may cause permanent brain damage in the form of mental health problems, difficulty learning, decreased impulse control and more.

This just brushes the surface of how vaping can harm you and those you love.

Get all the information you need to make the right decision. Quit vaping, or learn why you should never start.


Sources: FDA, CDC Visual Dictionary, CDC About E-Cigarettes, Surgeon General


13 or Older

For South Dakota residents 13 or older, South Dakota QuitLine offers three FREE ways to quit tobacco. Choose the option that works best for you and your quit journey.

12 or Younger

For those 12 or younger, the Truth Initiative offers This is Quitting, available 24/7 through your phone to help you quit and stay quit.