What are electronic cigarettes?

E-cigs come in many shapes and sizes and are used as an alternative nicotine delivery method. Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigs do no utilize combustion, so there is no smoke. Instead, an e-liquid solution that contains four basic ingredients – all of which are already approved for use in foods, cosmetics and medications, is heated by a simple battery, producing a vapor. The user inhales the vapor to deliver a specific concentration of nicotine, from zero to 2.4 percent, with the most common usage being 0.3 percent nicotine solution.

How are E-Liquids Made?

2017 Studies:

1. Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center research finds switching to vaping could save 6.6 million US lives in ten years – https://gumc.georgetown.edu/news/Tobacco_Smokers_Could_Gain_86%20Million_Years_of_Life_if_they_Switch_to_Vaping_Study_Finds

2. ND University, Chicago, IL study finds vaping does not increase likelihood of later smoking – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/articles/28841780/

3. Yale/NBER paper finds banning flavors would increase smoking of combustibles – http://www.nber.org/papers/w23865

4. CDC Finds More Smokers Use Vaping to Quit Than Any FDA-approved Method in 2017

Table 1. Prevalence of Any Quit Method Used (Alone or in Combination With Any of the Other 9 Quit Methodsa) During the Most Recent Quit Attempt Among US Adult Cigarette Smokers Who Tried to Quit in the Previous 3 Months (n = 15,943), 2014–2016
Quit Method Useda No. (Weighted %b)
Reported using multiple quit methods 12,417 (74.7)
Gave up cigarettes all at once 10,631 (65.3)
Gradually cut back on cigarettes 9,682 (62.0)
Substituted some regular cigarettes with e-cigarettes 5,861 (35.3)
Used nicotine patch or nicotine gum 4,047 (25.4)
Switched completely to e-cigarettes 3,721 (24.7)
Switched to “mild” cigarettes 3,376 (20.4)
Got help from a doctor or other health professional 2,963 (15.2)
Used FDA-approved medications such as Zyban or Chantix 2,374 (12.2)
Got help from a website such as Smokefree.gov 1,146 (7.1)
Got help from a telephone quitline 853 (5.4)

Abbreviation: FDA, US Food and Drug Administration.
a Respondent was permitted to select one or more of the 10 quit-method categories used in his or her most recent quit attempt; thus, categories are not mutually exclusive. Estimates are for those who used 2 or more quit methods (combined) and those who used only one.
b Percentages were based on a denominator of 15,943 and were weighted to reflect national distributions of sex, age, race/ethnicity, and education among cigarette smokers.

5. State of California studies vapor and finds “secondhand vaping” appears to result in minimal exposure of bystanders to hazardous chemicals. Study published April 2017.


6. Cancer Research UK: Long-term e-cigarette–only use is associated with substantially reduced levels of measured carcinogens and toxins compared to smoking combustible cigarettes. Study published Feb. 2017.

7. 2017 British study finds smokers who switch to vaping reduce toxins.


8. Boston University study finds there is no gateway of e-cigs to addict youth. Published Jan. 2017


9. Oxford University study finds that e-cigs can keep children from exposure to dangerous smoke. Published Jan. 2017

10. Center for Addictions Research at University of Victoria (B.C.) finds that e-cigs are replacing smoking, not encouraging smoking. They also found that e-cig vapor is less harmful, containing only trace amounts of some chemicals found in cigarette smoke at much higher levels. Published Jan. 2017

New Legislation:

Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) introduced repeal and replace legislation for the vaping industry in April, 2017. The Cigarette Smoking Reduction and Electronic Vapor Alternatives Act is designed to offer reasonable regulation and harm-reduction strategies moving forward. Click to learn more.

Freedom Factor | U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter Talks New Vaping Legislation

Overview: Comprehensive Rolling Stone Dec. 2015 article on e-cigs.


Are e-cigs safe?

Any substance inhaled into the lungs is not 100 percent safe. However, recent studies have found that e-cigs are 95 percent less harmful than traditional combustion cigarettes. Tobacco addiction specialists are beginning to point out the difference between nicotine and smoking since mounting evidence shows it’s the smoke that kills, not the nicotine.

The landmark 2015 Public Health England comprehensive study on e-cigs found they are 95 percent less harmful than traditional cigarettes.


The first long-term study of e-cig users here in the US showed that vapers who had been smoke-free for three years had 61 percent of smoke-induced health ailments resolved and their risk for contracting other smoke-related disease dropped 94 percent.


Nicotine has been found to have about the same qualities as caffeine in recent studies. It is being successfully used to treat cognitive ailments as well as nervous disorders. Note, the nicotine patch and nicotine gum are approved for over-the-counter use by the FDA.


Myths about chemicals
present in e-cigs

The base ingredient for e-liquids is Propylene Glycol which is considered GRAS (generally recognizes as safe) by the FDA and EPA. This versatile substance is used in many foods, cosmetics, medicines and fog machines during stage performances. Other myths about e-liquids have also been debunked.



Second-hand vapor is harmless

The most recent studies have found that second-hand vapor released from e-cigs is non-toxic and most comparable to indoor air, with virtually no nicotine present.


Can e-cigs help me quit smoking?

A 2015 CDC report found that 50 percent of people who gave up traditional cigarettes did it with e-cigs.


A 2016 Mayo Clinic report found a high percentage of patients who were given e-cigs prior to surgery either quit smoking all together, or switched to e-cigs as a less harmful alternative.