Electronic cigarettes (also known as: e-cigarettes, e-cigs, vapors, Juul, or nicotine vaporizers) are battery-powered devices designed to mimic the smoking experience without burning tobacco. They’ve exploded in popularity as a “safer” alternative to smoking, and e-cigarettes can now regularly be seen on TV and in the media as they are not included in the restriction of advertising of tobacco products on television. It’s sometimes called “vaping” or “juuling.”

E-cigarettes do not use tobacco, but instead heat a liquid containing nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals until it becomes a vapor, which can then be inhaled. It’s sometimes called “vaping.”

Users don’t inhale the same levels of tar and carbon monoxide that they would when smoking traditional cigarettes, but e-cigarettes are far from being a healthy alternative to smoking.

Nicotine is a highly addictive drug and toxic in high doses. It affects the brain, nervous system, and heart—raising blood pressure and causing an abnormal heart rate. Over time, nicotine use can lead to heart disease, blood clots, and stomach ulcers. Withdrawal from nicotine may make people feel depressed, tired, and irritable. All of these dangers apply to users of e-cigarettes.

Nicotine is not the only dangerous chemical found in e-cigarette liquid. According to a 2009 announcement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found diethylene glycol, a chemical used in antifreeze and “detectable levels of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals to which users could potentially be exposed.”

These are relatively new products often sold with misleading claims, such as:

CLAIM: E-cigarettes help smokers quit.

TRUTH: There is no scientific evidence that using e-cigarettes can help you quit smoking and they are not approved by the FDA as a smoking cessation tool. Because e-cigarettes are marketed with flavors like chocolate and strawberry, they may actually encourage nonsmokers (especially kids) to try vaping.

CLAIM: E-cigarettes can be used anywhere, even in “non-smoking” areas.

TRUTH: Laws vary from state or state (or even within some states). In general, e-cigarette use is NOT permitted in the same places where smoking is prohibited.

CLAIM: There is no “secondhand” risk with e-cigarettes.

TRUTH: For smokers, the term “secondhand” refers to smoke coming from tobacco being smoked by another person or exiting the lungs of someone smoking. For e-cigarettes, “secondhand” would similarly refer to someone inhaling vapors because they are near people using the device. There has not been enough research conducted on e-cigarette use to determine whether secondhand vapors are harmful or to what extent. Yet, a 2012 study did find that exhaled vapors contained measurable amounts of carcinogens.

CLAIM: You can get “nicotine-free” e-cigarettes.

TRUTH: The FDA’s initial analysis of e-cigarettes in 2009 found low levels of nicotine in products labeled as “nicotine free.”

The FDA regulates tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and smokeless tobacco as well as approved products for quitting smoking (gums, patches, medications). However, it does NOT currently regulate e-cigarettes. Manufacturers are not required to disclose the chemicals in its liquids or in what amount these are inhaled and exhaled by the user. In April 2014, the agency proposed a series of regulations for the e-cigarette market, but nothing had been passed as of early 2015.


  • E-cigarettes are not a healthy alternative to smoking.
  • There is no proof e-cigarettes can help you quit smoking.
  • There is some evidence to suggest second-hand vapors from e-cigarettes are harmful.

Last reviewed by Sara Connolly, MD, FAAP. Review Date: August 2019


  1. American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation.U.S. State and Local Laws Regulating Use of Electronic Cigarettes.
  2. Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. E-Cigarettes.
  3. Truth Initiative. How much nicotine is in JUUL?
  4. American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. States and Municipalities with Laws Regulating Use of Electronic Cigarettes.
  5. American Academy of Pediatrics. JUULing: What Pediatricians and Families Need to Know.
  6. Surgeon General’s Advisory on E-cigarette Use Among Youth.


  1. I smoked for 20 years, and i quit smoking 2 years ago when i switched to vaping, I have had no withdraws at all, and overtime decreased the nicotine. My lungs feel sooooo much better and i can do things now i never could before. Food is also more amazing. I am very careful about my liquid and my experience has been fantastic. I also vape in my house (and even in my office at work when no one is looking) there is no smell and no one would even know. It’s also REALLY nice in the airplane bathroom 🙂 E-Cigs saved my life, I cant imagine smoking a tobacco cigarette ever again.

  2. WOW This article really needs to be updated. There have been numerous studies on so called “second hand smoke” from Vaping and it is not dangerous at all. Also MOST ejuice has 3 or 4 ingredients in it: Vegetable Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Flavoring, and sometimes Nicotine. I know numerous people who make ejuice and know for a fact what is put in it. These are also the people I buy my ejuice from. And that is only the tippy top of what is wrong in this article. Way too much to go into.

  3. As a doctor I completely disagree with this on so many different levels. Lot of this is just plain wrong.

  4. The modern day bottle of E-juice consists of 4 major parts: PG, VG, flavoring, and nicotine. Some juices may have less of one than the other, or have extra components not listed here, but most are pretty much the same. Three out of those four main ingredients are GRAS and have extremely high toxicity threshold, meaning that in order to poison yourself, you would need to ingest a lot of the substance in order to hurt yourself with it. Being in a room literally full of vapor is not going to hurt you, as long as you aren’t sensitive to one or more of the ingredients. Studies have been done on this and can be seen here ( The one ingredient that you need to take caution with is the nicotine.

    Nicotine is a relatively harmless substance that has a similar effect as caffeine. In low doses, nicotine is relatively harmless to an adult body, but what about in children? Here’s a little bit of info to chew on regarding that subject:

    When you inhale from your ecig, then exhale the vapor, the remaining nicotine you exhale will be between 5 and 10% of the starting amount. This means that vaping a ML of 24mg/ml juice will result in 2.4mg of nicotine exhaled. This amount is very small and would have to be directly concentrated to really affect anyone around you. If you are outside, or in the car with the window down, the amount of nicotine you exhale will be so small and in such dilution, that only trace amounts if any at all would be passed on as second hand nicotine.

  5. I hate how the allow people in the malls to smoke and sell these!

  6. The dear doctor did a good job here, even when the facts are all false. The studies proof that there are measurable second vaping toxin after 5 hours vaping of 12 people in a room under controlled environmental circumstances. So why all the negative press and the good doctor posting those false fact here. Look into the last WHO study regarding that. Because vaping is so harmless it undermines the “denormalization” of smoking…. So you can’t argue with facts because it’s politically speaking impossible that vaping doesnt harm the vaper or 2nd hand exposed persons. Therefore the doctor does a good job in the view of the WHO and any health organization that wants to see smoking banished by every society in the world … And the harmless vaping doesn’t help… It’s simply not harmful enough ..they can’t post pictures of vaping victims… So the biggest danger of vaping is that a child consumes/drinks the eliquid .. Is the number one risk mentioned in the WHO report… Hopefully they don’t ban quarters which pose a similar risk when swallowed by a toddler ;O)))

    1. Ups sooty, there are NO measurable toxins in second hand vape, silly typo,,sorry

  7. I’ve been a smoker for 15 years , quit more than 2 years now , I did it cold turkey , only way that worked for me , this e-cigs might help , but you don’t lose the habit of smoking , even if you go nicotine free you still need to smoke , quitting nicotine is the easy part , after a few weeks you’re fine , quitting the habit of smoking is harder. I still want to smoke and I will , forever most likely , but I want to live long enough to see my kids grown more!

  8. Great article!!! I don’t know much about the ecigs but it’s scary that kids are thinking it’s candy! We are a smoke free home, including these! I know people who use them with young kids, will be sharing this info with them!

    1. This is anything but a “great article”. 90% of this is completely false. Several others have included links in their comments so I’ll just suggest you scroll through and read the studies out there now.

  9. All you who are “vaping” and maintaining that you quit smoking are simply irrational. That like switching from drinking hard liquor to beer and saying you don’t drink anymore. Bottom line, it’s still not setting a good example for your kids, you look ridiculous puffing from this vaporizers, and yes, it’s still annoying to those of us who don’t smoke when you vape near us.

    1. Yes because going from a toxin with over 4,000 chemicals to a juice with vegetable glycerin (harmless and found in foods) and flavoring (no recorded negative effects) is a bad thing.

      Since you’ve made such an uneducated statement I am sure you failed chemistry in high-school and do not understand the difference between Water Vapor (Juice) Vs. Smoke. Look up combustion. Nothing is being burned though the liquid is being rapidly heated to evaporation level thus releasing vapor which in and of itself is far less harmful.

      -Dr Wilson.

      1. Should we give him a better comparison? Say, it is like going from Hard Liquor to Water? That sounds a lot more intellectually balanced to me. I guess he could keep the part about “saying you don’t drink anymore” since drinking water would technically still be drinking. lol.

        -One Who Thinks Brad Would Benefit By Listening To Dr Wilson ^_^

  10. Sorry, but this article is ridiculous. I simply can’t accept that someone that is educated enough to be a physician, would actually believe the falsehoods about electronic cigarettes. As someone that’s been involved in the healthcare industry for over 20 years, I’m here to testify that ecigs do actually save people’s lives. In addition, I have been using ecigs personally for over 2 1/2 years, and will say that there is literally not one factual statement in the article above. In fact, this article is so full of misinformation, that it leads me to the belief that the person that wrote it isn’t actually a physician, or was paid to put this out by someone. I once saw a GP on TV news show claim that he didn’t recommend ecigs to his patients because “when the vapor reaches your lungs, it’s thousands of degrees”. It’s about as hard for me to imagine someone with a license to practice medicine in the US could believe that a human could repeatedly inhale vapor that’s “thousands of degrees” and survive, as it is for me to believe that a medical professional with even cursory knowledge of the current literature could believe the misnomers presented in this article. Just a couple quick examples:

    Claim: “According to a 2009 announcement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found diethylene glycol, a chemical used in antifreeze and “detectable levels of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals to which users could potentially be exposed.””

    Truth: The FDA did find trace amounts of Diethylene glycol in a single sample out of 20 of cheap China sourced product in 2009, but Diethylene glycol has never been found in another electronic cigarette since then, and there has been EXTENSIVE testing of product in the last 5 years. One common ingredient in the liquid in ecigarettes is propylene glycol, which is considered GRAS by the FDA, and is not only a common food additive, but is also found in virtually every asthma inhaler sold in the US. PG is actually an ingredient in anti freeze because of it’s very low freezing point, and is commonly found in the more expensive anti freeze that’s marketed as safe for pets and children.

    CLAIM: There is no truly nicotine free e-cigarette.

    TRUTH: That simply isn’t true. Trace amounts of nicotine, not dissimilar to the levels found by the FDA in “nicotine free” product back in 2009, can also be found in potatoes, tomatoes and other vegetables. We certainly wouldn’t tell patients not to eat vegetables because trace amounts of nicotine are common in many of them naturally.

    CLAIM: Second hand vapor from ecigarettes should be considered harmful, because there hasn’t been enough research conducted yet.

    TRUTH: There have been multiple studies conducted on second hand vapor both internationally, and in the US in the past two years or so. The most recent study I am aware off, was a peer reviewed study by Dr. Igor Burstyn from Drexel that was just released in early Jan. Dr. Burstyn found that though there were toxins present in exhaled vapor, they were both many orders of magnitude lower than similar toxins found in cigarette smoke, but that they all were at or primarily below EPA guidelines for safe workplace exposure. You can view that study here:

    CLAIM: Efficacy of electronic cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool has not been demonstrated.

    FACT: People addicted to cigarettes, are clinically speaking, nicotine addicts. If they start getting their nicotine from a source that solid science has demonstrated to be many fold less harmful than traditional cigarettes, both to themselves and bystanders, that seems like a good idea to me.

    I could go on, but you get the idea.

  11. Also add farting…

  12. Hmm, nice collection of misinformation contained within this article. I just wish people would actually research subjects extensively before making pronouncements on facts.
    I shal start by saying the FDA study from 2009 has been thoroughly picked apart and the finding were the levels of toxins found were within the considered safe levels for exposure but that doesn’t quite grab a headline does it.
    As for other research quoted or hinted at I would recommend before passing judgement readers go to and read ALL the research currently available on nicotine and electronic cigarettes instead fo relying on here-say and others only quoting negative studies while ignoring all the positive studies. New research is arriving at quite a pace as researchers start to study nicotine separated from smoking of tobacco which changes the science considerably.
    The thing that annoys me most is the writer repeatedly using TRUTH during what is really an opinion piece and is not stating any truths as far as I can see.
    Go to the site I suggest and read it, it will take quite some time as it contains links to many research papers and articles and perhaps you will find some truth rather than rhetoric resting upon cherry picked information.

  13. I used the e-cig for 1 year and in that year I did not touch a cigarette and I quit the e-cig to in that year, I have smoked for twenty years and I tried everything to quit smoking and the only thing that helped me do it was the e-cig. I still do it sometimes but at 0 mg so I agree with that guy that makes it Mathew P. you guy that are putting it down should investigate it some more because I will recommend it to anyone that wants to quit or someone that just want to smoke but they don’t want to smoke cigarettes.

  14. Truth: Second hand smoke is the combustion of tobacco which creates carbon monoxide. This is big phrama promoting propaganda. Second hand smoke has NEVER been the smoke from the lungs but the combustion off the analog. And I make e-juice and to say there is no nicotine free juice is just false. Nicotine is a whole other product, when I mix it’s vg/pg and I ADD nicotine per mg. So that is a lie. This whole blog is bullshit and just a another false info site. I have facts to back my info.

  15. And just so its clear. There is no nicotine in what is exhaled from an ecig. Most of the nicotine is absorbed inside the mouth, and the rest in the lungs.

  16. This article is false. I vape and ever doctor I know recommends vaping as a healthier way to quit smoking than the gum, patches, etc. I know people that don’t smoke but vape 0 nicotine. I think whomever wrote this article needs to do alot more research before they start blasting something they have no idea about.

  17. I find it very sad that someone with a Doctorate would fail to do their research and write an article full of information that is inaccurate, outdated, and intentionally misleading. The most irritating statement is the one so often repeated that “there is no information”about vaping. There have been numerous large scale studies done. All of which have proven that vaping and”secondhand” vaping is harmless.
    For anyone that wants access to ALL the information and see the truth… Go to There you can find all the data from all the studies. Not just the cherry picked bits…. ALL the per reviewed data for full view.

  18. let’s review – Justin Morgan, MD, is a board certified Pediatrician. Nowhere do I see he is a trained pulmonary specialist. MY WIFE HAS CYSTIC FIBROSIS and this has no effect on her; directly vaping or second-hand. Her PFT’s have INCREASED since I’ve quit smoking. this ‘article’ holds as much credibility as Dr. Jennifer Lincoln above giving me advice on how to improve my golf swing. She “had no idea about any of this stuff” and neither do you.

    You don’t even address THE TITLE OF THE ARTICLE which is vaping around children. You simply imply that MAYBE vaping around others is harmful, and all you have to say is “There has not been enough research conducted on e-cigarette use to determine whether secondhand vapors are harmful or to what extent.” In other words, you still really have no idea.

    How about you just stick to articles directly relating to your field of expertise?
    I’d wipe my butt with this article, but i’m trying to save paper.

  19. This is an incredibly absurd article on e-cigarettes. I am another one as proof that I can fight smoking and quit! 2 packs a week, to vaping, to now barely any vaping at all. my life and health has improved 10 fold – but wait, you need science, right? what a load of crap.

    stop trying to fearmonger the concerned parents of this website.

  20. this article is retarded it is quoting fda claims from 2009. 5 years later the juice has evolved. and there is proof that ecigs help you quit. where you ask right here I have been smoking since I was 13 i’m now 35, I have tried everything from gum to chantix with no help. About Oct. 2013 I picked up my first E-cig and started vaping with 26mg nicotine (because i was a 3 pack a day smoker) within 2 months I was down to 0 nicotine and stopped vaping. Stop believing lame articles that have out dated materials. P.S. I like how people are freaking out because the F.D.A. says its bad for you, but the F.D.A. also says junk food is bad for you and soda too and sugar substitutes yet they ignore those warnings.

  21. Through vaping I have eliminated the 37 year cigarette habit. I was a 2 pack a day smoking and nothing would help me quit. Within one month I was off them. I am down to 6mg of nicotine and working my way to zero. Many people I know have quit using these and most have reduced their nicotine levels.

    Most of the liquids in the juice are food safe or in medicine. There is a lot of research but people don’t want to believe it. As long as they don’t understand it they will never believe the research. Our world is full of people that like to dictate what other should and shouldn’t do.

  22. This article is absurd. I smoked for 17 yrs until July 3rd 2013. I haven’t had one hit of a cig since the day I started vaping. I know exactly what is in the eliquid that I vape and I feel so much better. This is nothing more than propaganda from a source that has no clue what they are talking about. Look around you there are people who quit smoking everyday with the help of ecigs. People post before and after lung X-rays showing marked improvement to lung functions. The sad part is people still see the FDA reference in this article and believe it to be true smh.

  23. There is so many holes in this article I almost thought this was swiss cheese! First off you need science to prove that e-cigs can help people quit?! Look around you so many people including me have quit cigarettes we don’t need science for that just common sense…and to say about no nictoine liquid still contains low amount of nicotine haha I own a company that makes liquid I know exactly what goes in it and no there is no nicotine in no nicotine liquid! People need to get their heads out of their ass and do more research there is over 4000 chemicals found in a cigarette and only four ingredients in e-liquid I say ingredients because they all are the only chemical is nicotine and the gealth risk of nicotine is as bad as eating dessert or drinking a cup of coffee its not some toxic ingredient that is so bad for you!!! This article just needs to just burn up with the hard drive it was typed on you ignorant jerk! Do more research before you make these assumptions ohhh wait but the FDA said something just cuz one person says the FDA said something means nothing do your RESEARCH!!! My name is Matthew Peairs and #improof cig free for 7 months all because of vape!!!

  24. Thanks to vaporing i haven’t had a cigarette in 167 days. It May not work for everyone, but some people it does work for. I’ve gotten my nicotine level down to 6mg, so I’ve almost down to 0mg, and when thet happens I’m done vaping!!! And if people research it enough, it is only water vapor being exhaled. But there are so many different opinions about this…….so…..

    1. That’s great, Rosalee! Thanks for sharing your experience. No one solution works for everyone, but glad you found one that’s helping you quit.

  25. I agree. How ridiculous! I could hardly see a smoker paying for a nicotine free cigarette!

    1. One of the hardest things for a smoker to give up is the habit or motions of smoking. I vape 0 nicotine regularly and haven’t had a cig in almost a year. Not one single puff nor have I had any craving for them.

    2. Bull. My brother in law, four of my friends, my wife, and myself all quit smoking cigs completely thanks to vaping. We started with high nic juices n worked our way down, and now we Vape nicotine free juices once in awhile. We would never have been able to quit cold turkey. We all have tried numerous times. So stop with all the lies trying to make something out of nothing. I smoked for 20 years n vaping helped me stop in a matter of a few days n I’m so happy I finally got my wife to start vaping n quit cigs as well. She really loved to smoke n now she can’t stand the Smell of a burning cigarette. If u don’t like it then don’t Vape. But there is no harm in it. N until you actually see some kind of proof that vaping is harmful, keep your mouth shut. You look childish claiming that something is bad for you n stating the fact that it hasn’t been proven in the same sentence. Grow up n keep an open mind. Cuz I’m sure a lot of u drink coffee or beer which are actually proven to harm you and here you are being hypocrites. Keep ur negativity to yourself. As long as people aren’t walking into your home and vaping clouds in your living room. It shouldn’t bother you.

  26. Yikes! I had no idea about any of this stuff. Super helpful article.


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