E-Cigarettes: Decoding What's Behind The Vapor Infographic

This information has been reviewed and approved by Amy Lukowski, PsyD (April 2014).

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Summary of E-Cigarettes: Decoding What's Behind The Vapor

What is an E-Cigarette?

A battery-powered device that heats cartridges of flavored, liquid nicotine and other additives, which is delivered as an aerosol or "vapor." They are not lit, but many produce a lite effect when the vapor is inhaled. These devices are often made to look like tobacco products, especially cigarettes and cigars.


What is Vaping?

The vaporized nicotine is combine with propylene glycol, which the user than inhales in a manner similar to smoking a cigarette. When the user exhales (vaping), the vapor contains mainly the propylene glycol, which looks like smoke from a cigarette.


Different Names for the Same Product:

E-Cigarettes are also known as e-hookahs, hookah pens, vape pens, or vape pipes.


Nicotine and the Teenage Brain:

The teenage brain is still developing. Decision-making, impulse control and planning ahead are among the last features of the brain to mature. This makes teenagers more susceptible to the effects of nicotine and other addictive substances. The Limbic System aka Reward System- (the part of the brain affected by nicotine):

  • regulates stimuli and emotional responses, including attention span
  • stimulates dopamine production, producing a feeling of pleasure. The brain remembers these pleasurable feelings and seeks them out, producing and addiction


The Danger to Children:

  • Addictive nicotine content
  • Unregulated nicotine levels and mixture of other chemicals
  • Packaging
  • Advertising
  • Targeted marketing
  • Flavoring
  • Alters brain development
  • Renormalizes smoking


Smoking Cessation Quitline

Are you or someone you know thinking about quitting tobacco? Call 1.800.QUIT.NOW for free support.


More Information on E-Cigarettes

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