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Vapes and Cigarettes

Different products. Same dangers.
Vapes and Cigarettes. Different products. Same dangers. Addiction. Nicotine. Cancer-causing chemicals.

Vapes and cigarettes are a lot alike. They both put nicotine and cancer-causing chemicals in your body. And they are both highly addictive and dangerous for young people.

Table of Contents

Get the facts about vaping

Here are some of the most important things to know:

Vaping is addictive
  • Vapes and e-juices contain nicotine, an addictive chemical that is extremely hard to quit
  • Nicotine is the same drug used in cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products
  • Some vape pods have as much nicotine as 20 cigarettes (a pack of cigarettes)
  • Because your brain is still developing until your mid 20s, you have a greater risk of becoming addicted to nicotine
Vaping can harm your brain and the rest of your body
  • Nicotine can harm your brain, including your memory and ability to learn
  • It’s not water vapor—aerosol from vaping has cancer-causing chemicals
  • Vapes can also contain harmful (and possibly harmful) ingredients such as:
    • Very fine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
    • Flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease
    • Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead
    • Volatile organic compounds
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the organization that makes sure drugs are safe and effective. This is called “regulating.” The FDA is supposed to regulate e-juices and vaping devices, but they haven’t started yet. So we can’t be sure what is in these products.
The vaping industry targets you
  • The tobacco and vaping industries target young people so you’ll become lifetime users addicted to their products. Cigarette makers own and invest in vape companies.
  • The vaping industry makes their products taste like fruit or candy so you will want to try them
  • If you vape, you are 4 times more likely to smoke cigarettes

What you can do

Now that you know the facts, talk to your friends and family about the dangers of vaping.

Get involved. Join your school’s SADD or 84 Chapter to spread the word. Don’t have an 84 Chapter? Learn more and start one!

For help quitting

Quitting vapes or other tobacco/nicotine products is hard. Here are some ways to get the support you need:

  • This is Quitting powered by truth® is a free and confidential texting program for young people who vape. Text “VapeFreeMass” to 88709 to get started! In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
  • My Life, My Quit™ has youth coach specialists trained to help young people by phone or text. Call or text "Start My Quit" to 855-891-9989 for free and confidential help. For more information or to sign up online, visit
  • Visit for tools and tips to help you quit.
  • Ask for help from your school nurse or counselor, athletic coach, doctor, parent or other trusted adult.

Learn more

For young people, check out:
For parents, teachers, and adults:

Get the facts and learn what you can do to protect young people from the dangers of vaping:  


Sources: Information is taken from E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2016, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (website on Electronic Cigarettes Accessed 03/19)