What are electronic cigarettes?
- Electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigarettes or vaporizer cigarettes, are battery-operated devices that release aerosolized nicotine that is inhaled by the user.
- E-cigarettes vary in shape, size and general appearance. They often look like cigarettes, but can also look like other everyday items such as ballpoint pens.
Do e-cigarettes help smokers quit?
To date, there is no scientific evidence that e-cigarettes can be used to quit smoking. E-cigarettes have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as smoking cessation devices.
Are there risks to using an e-cigarette?
Since e-cigarettes are not currently regulated by the FDA, there is the potential of many health risks:
- Ingredients in the cartridges are not always known.
- Some tests have shown high levels of nicotine and other harmful substances and chemicals.
- The FDA has received many reports of harmful effects that might be related to e-cigarette use including pneumonia, heart failure and breathing problems (FDA).
- Some e-cigarettes contain aerosol. Exposure to the aerosol can cause immediate airway constriction both for the smoker and those who may be exposed to the secondhand aerosol.
- More research is needed to assess both the risks and benefits of e-cigarette use.
E-Cigarettes can also be dangerous for children:
- Children might confuse the flavors of liquid nicotine for candy.
- Liquids from e-cigarettes can be poisonous if swallowed, and can be harmful if it gets on skin or in the eyes.
- The liquid nicotine from e-cigarettes can cause serious health problems, including emergency room visits, seizures and even death.
Are e-cigarettes legal in Colorado?
- Yes. People 18 years or older can buy e-cigarettes in Colorado.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Denver Public Health, LegacyForHealth.org, Americans for Non-Smokers Rights, FDA-Public Health Focus, FDA-Consumer Updates, European Lung Association.