What you need to know about the risks of vaping

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.

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Vaping Health Watch

Experts warn against vaping or e-cigarette use, especially during outbreaks of two severe lung diseases:


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)


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.


A picture of different vape devices

Vape, Juul, Suorin, e-cig, pen, mod, pod, e-hookah, tank...

Teen Vaping

Many teens are using pocket-size vape devices or e-cigarettes at home or school. Vaping produces an aerosol, often mistaken for water vapor. The vapes are often odorless and quickly heat to dispense nicotine, flavored liquids or high-potency THC (cannabis or marijuana).

An infographic of 3 out of 5 students vaping

3 out of 5 9th grade students said they feel obtaining vape devices is easy.

Vaping in our schools

  • 7th graders: 1 in 10 say they have vaped
  • ‍9th graders: 1 in 5
  • 11th graders: Nearly 1 in 3

Source:  Ventura County California Healthy Kids Survey, 2017-18

An illustration of different flavored vape e-juices

Flavored vape pens and e-juice seem harmless to kids.

Teens are the Target

A Stanford study found that vaping ads have been widely promoted on the social media platforms teens use, and spread via #hashtags and paid social media influencers.

Source:  “JUUL Advertising Over its First Three Years on the Market,” Stanford University School of Medicine

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
  • Pneumonia
  • Finding unfamiliar USB drives, battery chargers or spare parts
  • Red, irritated eyes

For help to stop vaping, call:


For help with marijuana, call:

Ventura County Access Line


Learn more about marijuana & vaping:

Vaping news

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