Male throws away an electronic vapor product in the garbage

E-cigarettes and vaping

Youth tobacco use in any form is unsafe. Image of different types of tobacco
Photo: LCPH from CDC

In 2007, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) entered the market labeled as a safe alternative to smoking tobacco, although they do contain nicotine – which is harmful to youth and young adults. These battery-powered devices create a vapor to deliver nicotine and flavorings. E-cigarettes are tobacco and have become increasingly popular among middle and high school students. The use of any tobacco product – including e-cigarettes–is unsafe for young people.

Like other tobacco products, e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical that can be harmful brain development. The young brain can continue to develop until age 25.

E-cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes. These devices can be shaped like a USB flash drive or a pen – e-cigarettes do not look like traditional tobacco products. One popular brand of e-cigarette includes JUUL; according to the manufacturer, a single JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of regular cigarettes.

National and Local Data

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, tobacco use is the largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Each year, about 480,000 Americans die from tobacco-related illnesses. More than 16 million Americans suffer from at least one disease caused by smoking. Smoking-related illness in the United States costs more than $300 billion each year, including about $170 billion for direct medical care for adults and more than $156 billion in lost productivity.

One in every three people who die of heart disease is caused by smoking. Lorain County Public Health (LCPH) reminds you that smoking hurts the heart. In fact, in 2018 the second leading cause of death was heart disease in Lorain County. Smoking increases your risk of heart disease AND it increases the risk of people around you at home or work who breathe secondhand smoke.

National Youth Tobacco Survey results (Nov 2023)

  • 10% of high school and middle school students currently use a tobacco product. 
  • 10% of high school students and 4.6% of middle school students currently use an e-cigarette. 

Lorain County OH YES! survey results (2021-2022) 

  • 16.9% of 7th, 9th, and 11th graders self-reported they've used an electronic vapor product 
    • 14% of the students self-reported they used all 30 days
    • 50% of the students used an electronic vapor product because their friend used them


Get that Facts

Tools to Quit



Ready to Go Presentations

E cigarettes and Vaping: What Parents Need to Know 
Type: Video
Audience: Parents 
Length: 10 minutes 
Additional Resources: What Parents Need to Know 

The Dangers of E Cigarettes
Type: Video
Audience: Middle and High School Students 
Length: 10 minutes 
Additional Resources: The Truth and What's So Bad about E Cigarettes? 

Tobacco Cessation Resources 
Type: Video 
Audience: Adults 
Length: 11 minutes 
Additional Resources: LCPH - Tools to Quit 

More on tobacco from your local health department: