What you need to know about the risks of vaping

An illustration of different varieties of vaping devices

Vape, e-cig, pen, mod, pod, cart, tank, JUUL, Puff Bar, Suorin, SMOK Novo

Teen Vaping

Pocket-size vape devices are popular among teens, who may not realize that attractive flavored pods contain nicotine or high-potency THC (cannabis or marijuana). Vaping produces a mist that is mistaken for water vapor, but is a chemical aerosol that enters and harms lungs. 

An infographic representing 1 in 5 students

Close to 1 in 5 students who have never vaped were offered vapes in the last 30 days. 

Vaping in our schools

  • 7th graders: 7% say they have vaped
  • ‍9th graders: 1 in 5
  • 11th graders: Nearly 1 in 3

Sources: Ventura County California Healthy Kids Survey, 2019-20; CA Student Tobacco Survey (2019-20)

An illustration of different flavors of disposable vapes and e-juices

96% of California students who vape use flavored vapes.

Teens are the Target

Stanford University research found that social media posts promoting vapes and e-cigs may make teens more willing to try vaping. Teens who use social media are most vulnerable to #hashtags and paid social media influencers

Sources: “Teens vulnerable to social-media promotion of vaping,” Stanford University School of Medicine; A Student Tobacco Survey (2019-20) 

A young teen smoking an e-cigarrette

Did you know? Nicotine is as addictive as heroin.

Not safer than smoking

Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm brain development. It contributes to problems with concentration, learning, and impulse control.

Vaping products are largely unregulated. In a recent study, vape juices advertised as having zero nicotine were tested, and over 90% of them contained up to 24% nicotine.


An illustration of the different chemicals in the vape aerosol cloud

The cloud is not water vapor, it's an aerosol with liquid particles suspended in it.

The cloud is aerosol, not water vapor

Aerosol, like hairspray, leaves a residue on surfaces including people’s lungs. Some of the chemicals found in vape aerosols include those used for:

  • antifreeze (propylene glycol)
  • nail polish remover (acetone)
  • paints, pesticides (ethylbenzene)
  • embalming (formaldehyde)
  • fireworks (rubidium)


Secondhand Vaping

Your vape contains a lot of unknown and potentially harmful substances. You might decide you want to vape anyway, but what about the people around you? What about the people you love?  Some people are particularly sensitive to being harmed by the substances in secondhand vape – there are simple things you can do to protect them.

Why Tiny Particles are a Big Problem

Secondhand vaping is like secondhand smoking – when someone vapes indoors, it affects other people too – especially children. See the videos below.

Health Alert

Health officials had reported a steep rise in hospitalized and fatal cases of a serious vaping-related lung disease called EVALI. Although EVALI cases have decreased, the risk of acute lung illness and injury from vapes and e-cigs remains high. 

Experts now recommend no exposure to any vaping products by youths, young adults, or women who are pregnant. 


Know what to look for.

A picture of vape devices being hidden in a backpack

Signs your child may be vaping

  • Sweet odors
  • Decreased sense of taste
  • Nosebleeds
  • Cutting back on caffeine
  • Persistent cough 
  • Finding unfamiliar USB drives, battery chargers or spare parts
  • Red, irritated eyes

For help quitting vaping:

Talk to your healthcare provider or visit Kick It California:

For help to stop using substances:

Ventura County Access Line


Learn more about marijuana & vaping:

Vaping news

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