We get it. There’s a world of vaping misinformation out there. That’s why we only share proven science—because being a parent in today’s world is already hard enough.

What Are Vapes?
What Are the Health Risks?
What Are the Warning Signs?

What are e-cigs and vape pens?

Vapes are electronic devices that atomize liquid to produce “vapor.” This site focuses on the risks of vapes with nicotine. If you’re looking for more information on the risks of vaping THC or CBD, check out this fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What do vapes look like?

It can be hard to spot a vape your teen is hiding, because they come in all kinds of shapes and colors. Vapes can range from large, customizable devices (often called “mods”) to pen-like devices that charge using a USB port, to small inexpensive disposables. But there are some basics that stay the same: Vapes generally consist of a battery, a heating element, a mouthpiece, and a tank or cartridge for e-liquid (also known as “vape juice”). No matter what shape the device is, or what is in the juice being vaped, every vape comes with health risks.

Is vaping riskier for teens than adults?

Definitely. Vape chemicals, like nicotine, are known to affect brain development and prime the brain for future addiction problems.1 Nicotine use can negatively affect the parts of the brain that control attention, memory, and learning, and can even lead to serious mood disorders.2

There’s no such thing as a safe vape.

Is vaping safer than smoking?

For people who are not currently using tobacco products, vaping is a risky habit
to take up. Vaping can cause nicotine addiction and it can take many attempts
to successfully quit vaping. Teenagers and pregnant women are at especially high
risk for the harm caused by chemicals
in vapes.7

What are the signs my teen might be addicted to nicotine?

The truth is, it’s really hard to know. Every parent should stay vigilant though, because almost half of Nevada’s high schoolers have tried vaping.8 Here are some red flags to look out for:

Change in mood:
Because nicotine addiction can cause mood swings, teens may be unusually irritable, short-tempered, or exhibiting impulsive or risk-taking behavior.

problems at school:
Nicotine can affect brain development, memory and learning.12 If your child is struggling more than usual at school, vaping is one possible reason.

These “symptoms” might sound like teens just being teens, but if you see a lot of these come on at once, it might be time to take a closer look. So if you see these signs, or find devices you don’t recognize, it’s definitely time for a talk.

Is my teen at risk for vaping?

Yes, teen vaping rates in Nevada are extremely high. Almost half of the teens in our state have already tried vaping, and nearly 1 in 4 high schoolers have vaped in the past month. Talking to your teen about the risks of vaping makes them less likely to ever start vaping. The high nicotine content in vapes means addiction can happen quickly, so it’s important to take action right away if you suspect your teen is vaping.

If you know your teen is addicted to nicotine, there are services that can help. Use the quitline buttons to enroll online or call together.
  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults. A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2016.

  2. Hess CA, Olmedo P, Navas-Acien A, Goessler W, Cohen JE, Rule AM. E-cigarettes as a source of toxic and potentially carcinogenic metals. Environ Res. 2017;152:221-225. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2016.09.026

  3. Madison, MC, Landers, CT, Gu, B, et al. Electronic cigarettes disrupt lung lipid homeostasis and innate immunity independent of nicotine.  Updated February 24, 2020. Accessed June 4, 2020. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2019;129(10):4290-4304.

  4. Garza A, Vega R, Soto E. Cellular mechanisms of lead neurotoxicity. Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research. 2006;12(3):RA57.

  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Blood Lead Levels in Children. Updated May 28, 2020. Accessed June 4, 2020.

  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Toxic Substances Portal - Formaldehyde. Updated October 21, 2014. Accessed June 4, 2020.

  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Electronic Cigarettes. Updated February 24, 2020. Accessed June 4, 2020.

  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019 Nevada Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Published 2020. Accessed June 4, 2020.

  9. Jabba SV, Jordt SE. Risk Analysis for the Carcinogen Pulegone in Mint- and Menthol-Flavored e-Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco Products [published online ahead of print, 2019 Sep 16]. JAMA Intern Med. 2019;179(12):1721-1723. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.3649

  10. Erythropel HC, Jabba SV, Dewinter TM, et al. Formation of flavorant–propylene Glycol Adducts With Novel Toxicological Properties in Chemically Unstable E-Cigarette Liquids. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. 2018; 21(9):1248-1258. doi:10.1093/ntr/nty192

  11. Olmedo P, Goessler W, Tanda S, et al. Metal Concentrations in e-Cigarette Liquid and Aerosol Samples: The Contribution of Metallic Coils. Environ Health Perspect. 2018;126(2):027010. Published 2018 Feb 21. doi:10.1289/EHP2175

  12. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (US) Office on Smoking and Health. E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General [Internet]. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US); 2016. Available from:

  13. Willett JG, Bennett M, Hair EC, et alRecognition, use and perceptions of JUUL among youth and young adults. Tobacco Control 2019;28:115-116.