What is an E-Cigarette?

An e-cigarette (e-cig) is a cigarette-shaped device that contains a nicotine liquid that is vaporized and inhaled, and is used to recreate the feeling of smoking a real cigarette. The liquid nicotine comes in many different flavors such as; Tuti Fruiti, Vanilla Mocha Frappe, Peanut Butter Cup, Cinnamon Roll, Carmel Apple and more, making it more appealing to young adults.

E-cigs come in various sizes, models, and colors. A typical e-cig looks exactly like a cigarette and/or cigar. They are rechargeable and/or refillable.

How it works:

The Cartomizer is filled with the flavored E-liquid, which contains nicotine. When the power button is activated, the user inhales which activates a sensor that detects air flow. This process then allows the E-liquid to heat up in the replaceable cartridge, causing the liquid to vaporize.

Although e-cigs are believed to be a “healthy” alternative to smoking real cigarettes and/or cigars, e-cigs have just as many health risks as smoking tobacco.

  • According to the CDC, the health hazards associated with e-cigs are Congestive Heart Failure, Disorientation, seizures, and popcorn lung.
  • Harvard School of Public Health found that more than 75% of liquid nicotine put into e-cigarettes contain a flavoring chemical called diacetyl, which has been linked to a disease known as “popcorn lung.”
  • E-cigs contain lithium-ion batteries that combust, which can cause serious injuries.
  • Some E-liquids can contain the chemicals Formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.
  • In 2009, the FDA tested the ingredients of cartridges from two leading brands of e-cigarettes and found levels of cancer-causing and toxic chemicals, including diethylene glycol, an ingredient in antifreeze.
  • Some cartridges labeled as containing no nicotine had nicotine in them.

Other uses for E-Cigs

One of the popular drugs to smoke out of an e-cig is Marijuana or dry herbs. EGO-compatible e-cigarette batteries and a dry herb cartridge, are widely used for turning the e-cig into an electric pipe (or e-blunt).

Oils, Waxes, and other THC Concentrates

Vape, hash oil, wax, budder, shatter, BHO, full-melts, or any other form of concentrates are all forms of a much higher THC level version of marijuana that can be used in e-cigs. E-cigarette batteries, concentrate cartridges, or glass globes are used to smoke these concentrates.

THC E-liquids (also known as tinctures) are just as potent as other THC concentrates that can be found in e-cigs. Those who already have Medical Marijuana cards (especially in California), can buy pre-filled tincture cartridges from other retail stores, or they can make their own tinctures. E-Liquids do not produce much of a smell, so they are more discrete than others.

Excerpt from a new CDC report

About 2.4 million middle and high school students were current (past 30-day) users of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, in 2014. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which causes addiction, may harm brain development, and could lead to continued tobacco product use among youth. Tobacco product advertising can entice youth to use tobacco, and spending to advertise e-cigarettes has increased rapidly since 2011. About 69% of middle and high school students were exposed to e-cigarette advertisements in retail stores, on the Internet, in magazines/newspapers, or on TV/movies. Exposure to e-cigarette advertisements may be contributing to increases in e-cigarette use among youth. Efforts by states, communities, and others could reduce this exposure.

Click here for the full report.

Emerging Regulations

On August 8, 2016, the FDA began to regulate E-Cigarettes including, hookah tobacco, and cigars. Retailers, manufacturers, and consumers must comply with all applicable federal laws and regulations. Please visit the FDA.gov for more information.

Street Names

  • personal vaporizer
  • personal inhaler
  • vape
  • swisher
  • dawg
  • vaporette


In The News

Surgeon general sounds the alarm on teens and e-cigarettes
Exploding E-Cigarettes Sending ‘Vapers’ to Burn Centers