Vaping and e-cigarettes

No matter what you call them – JUULs, e-cigs, vape pens, or electronic delivery systems – the evidence shows that vapor products aren’t healthy.

Health Risks of Vaping

E-cigarettes contain nicotine, an addictive chemical that is known to affect brain development in youth. Vapor products also contain other dangerous chemicals such as:

  • Formaldehyde.
  • Benzene.
  • Nickel.
  • Lead.
  • Propylene glycol.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working with state and local health departments to investigate cases of vaping-associated lung injuries throughout the United States. Patients in the investigation have reported symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and fever. Most patients have severe symptoms and have been hospitalized for treatment. Several people have died as a result of their illness.

The exact cause of these illnesses isn’t yet known. No specific product, device, or substance has been identified as a cause. Most patients report that they used vapor products that contain THC. Many patients report that they used THC and nicotine. Some people have used vapor products that only contain nicotine. People who’ve gotten sick have used vapor products from licensed retailers as well as products sold on the street.

If you use e-cigarettes or vapor products, monitor yourself for symptoms like cough, chest pain, or shortness of breath. See your healthcare provider if you are concerned about your health. If you’re ready to quit vaping, find cessation help that actually works.

Increase in Youth Vaping

The use of vapor products has been on this rise among teens.

  • In 2018, 27% of Whatcom County 10th graders reported using e-cigarettes or other vapor products. That’s more than double the number in 2016, when it was just 12% of 10th graders who said they used these products.
  • Only about 1 out of 3 teens think vaping is a health risk, but 3 out of 4 say using cigarettes is risky. That’s despite the fact that most teens who use vape products (71%) say they vape products with nicotine, the same addictive chemical in cigarettes.

Why is this a problem? Nicotine can lead to a lifetime of addiction, especially when you start young. Over 90% of smokers today started before they turned 18. And a person’s brain keeps developing well into their 20s. Both nicotine and marijuana can harm brain development.

Get Help to Quit

It’s never too late to quit smoking or vaping. Find proven tools to help you kick the habit.

Quitting Tobacco or Vaping

When you quit using tobacco or vapor products, you’ll improve your health and reduce your risk of diseases like heart disease, cancer, and lung disease. E-cigarettes aren’t scientifically proven to help you quit, but these resources will help you find solid ways to quit.

  • Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or go to to get 1-on-1 help with a quit plan. You’ll get connected to tested strategies like counseling or medication.
  • Try these apps to help you quit vaping or smoking. Or try other self-help materials that are available online or on your phone.

Quitting Cannabis

The Washington Recovery Help Line is your 24-hour source for help with quitting cannabis or other substances.