With vapes, e-cigarettes, and e-hookahs growing in popularity, there are some things you should know about these electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).

Myth #1 – “These products are shown to help people quit smoking”
ENDS are relatively new and enough research hasn’t been done to prove that they are effective quit aids. Think about the companies that are marketing these products to you. Tobacco companies are not in the business of helping you quit, they are in the business of selling their product and making money. As people look for ways to quit tobacco, they can be swayed to try products that they are told will help them resist their cravings. As a result, this boosts sales for the tobacco companies that sell these items. Because nicotine, an addictive substance, is in the cartridges of ENDS, vaping will not help you curb your addiction. It will merely get you hooked on an alternative product.

Myth #2 – “Vapes are a healthy alternative to smoking since there’s no second-hand smoke involved”
You’re right, there may be no smoke involved, however, the “water vapor” that is emitted from these devices is not as harmless as you think. In reality, the “water vapor” is actually an aerosol (like hair spray) that contains chemicals like formaldehyde (used to preserve dead specimens) and acrolein (a nasal irritant).* Just because you may not be able to smell it like you would smoke, doesn’t mean it’s not harmful. Some ENDS manufacturers market their products as safe because they use food flavorings or glycerin which they say meets the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) definition of “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS). However, that definition does not apply to food additives being inhaled. Also, there are currently no regulations for how much, or which kinds, of chemicals are okay to use in ENDS cartridges.

Myth #3 – “I’m saving money because I’m not buying cigarettes anymore”
Check out the graph below.* This shows the nicotine content in ENDS cartridges from several tobacco companies. As you can see, you may not really be getting what you think. The average nicotine concentration of commercial cigarettes is about 16.3mg. If you’re used to smoking a certain amount of cigarettes a day, it make take more ENDS cartridges to fulfill your cravings.
 

Brand Name  Model Cartridge Type Flavor

Labelled Nicotine Content
(mg or mg/ml)

Actual Measured Nicotine Content (mg)
Janty Dura Cartridge Marlboro 16 5
Mild 201 Cartridge Marlboro 18 19
Premium PR111 Cartomizer Tobacco 16 12
Trendy 808 Cartridge Trendy 18 2


Still got questions about vapes or e-cigarettes? Semper Fit Health Promotion staff is available to discuss any ENDS concerns with you and can offer you tobacco cessation services, including information about approved medications that are available to help you quit tobacco. For more information, please visit your local Health Promotion staff at your installation’s fitness facility. Click here to locate a fitness center near you.