• Vaping Information

    The Basics of Vaping

    • Vaping is the act of inhaling a vaporized liquid from an electronic device.
    • Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are battery-powered devices that can deliver nicotine and flavorings to the user in the form of an aerosol.
    • These devices are referred to by a variety of names, including “e-cigs,” “e-hookahs,” “mods,” “vape pens,” “vapes,” and “tank systems.
    • E-cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes. Some look like regular cigarettes, cigars or pipes. Other, larger e-cigarettes such as tank systems--or “mods”--do not look like other tobacco products.
    • Some e-cigarettes look like other items commonly used by youth, such as pens and other everyday items. New e-cigarettes shaped like USB flash drives are popular among youth, including JUUL and the PAX Era, which looks like JUUL and delivers marijuana.
    • JUUL is the top-selling e-cigarette brand in the U.S.
      • Because JUULs look like USB flash drives, it’s easier for students to use this product more discretely
      • JUUL’s nicotine liquid refills are called pods and a single JUUL pod can contain as much nicotine as a pack of 20 regular cigarettes
    • A few examples of what some of these products look like:

     Graphic of Vaping Devices  

    Image from CDC

    Pictures of Vaping Devices

    Image from CDC

    Picture of Vaping Devices

    Image from American Heart Association

    • Youth and young adults say they use e-cigarettes for a variety of reasons, including:
      • Curiosity
      • Flavors
      • Belief that e-cigarettes are safer than other tobacco products
    • E-cigarettes are marketed by promoting flavors and using a wide variety of media channels and approaches that have been used in the past for marketing conventional tobacco products to youth.
    • E-cigarettes are currently the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. middle and high school students.

    Risks for Youth

    • The use of products containing nicotine in any form among youth, including in e-cigarettes, is unsafe.
    • Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive.
    • Nicotine exposure during adolescence can:
      • Harm brain development, which continues until about age 25
      • Impact learning, memory, and attention
      • Increase risk for future addiction to other drugs
    • Research has shown that young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to go on to use regular cigarettes.
    • E-cigarette aerosol is not harmless. It can contain harmful substances, including:
      • Nicotine
      • Cancer-causing chemicals
      • Volatile organic compounds
      • Ultrafine particles
      • Flavorings that have been linked to lung disease
      • Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead

    Additionally, earlier in the year we shared information about the recent outbreak of severe pulmonary disease associated with use of e-cigarette products. For updates on the situation, to learn more, and to access resources visit this site: CDC Statement & Recommendations About E-Cigarettes.

    Safety Risks

    E-cigarettes, or “vapes” can explode and cause serious injury. While this occurrence is rare, the explosions are very dangerous.

    Find out more by following these links:

    Laws & Regulations

    According to the Teen Tobacco Use Prevention Act it is illegal for youth under 18 to buy or possess tobacco products in Colorado. It is also illegal for adults to sell or provide tobacco products to anyone under 18.

    The Colorado Tobacco Free School Law prohibits the use of tobacco and nicotine by students, teachers, staff, and visitors on any school property, including outdoor areas, such as fields and entryways, and in school-owned vehicles. The law includes all nicotine products and is enforced before, during and after school, on weekends, holidays and summer vacation. Tobacco products are defined as, “any product that contains nicotine or tobacco or is derived from tobacco and is intended to be ingested, inhaled, or applied to the skin of an individual.”

    The Board of Education of each school district adopts policies and rules that mandates the consequences for violating the Tobacco Free Schools law. The Second Chance program was recently introduced to our high schools this year as an optional resource for schools to use as an alternative to suspension if a student violates the district tobacco policy. Second Chance is a free, online program from CDPHE & RMC Health aimed at teaching high school students who have been identified as having used traditional or electronic cigarettes about tobacco and other nicotine products.

    Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act protects employees and customers from the hazards of secondhand smoke. This act requires that indoor areas must be smoke-free and prohibits smoking within 25 feet of entryways to public buildings. This act was recently updated in July 2019 to expand protections from secondhand smoke and vapor. The updated act stipulates that:

    • Vaping will not be allowed in indoor public places, including all bars and restaurants.
    • People will have to be at least 25 feet from main entrances while smoking or vaping.
    • All hotel and motel rooms will be smoke and vape-free.
    • All businesses will be smoke and vape-free.
    • Common areas of assisted living facilities will be smoke and vape-free.

    Electronic Toolkit

    Vaping Education, Prevention & Cessation Resource Toolkit

    Sources used for content on the page:

    -American Heart Association

    -Center for Disease Control & Prevention

    -Surgeon General: Know the Risks

    -Tobacco Free Colorado

    -U.S. Food & Drug Administration

    Vaping & COVID-19

    Health officials have recently warned of dangerous links between vaping and infectious diseases such as COVID-19.  This infographic explains.

    Vaping & COVID-19

Last Modified on January 11, 2023