E-Cigarettes: Facts & Your Health


Electronic Cigarettes Facts and Your Health

Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are battery-operated products designed to deliver nicotine, flavor, and other chemicals. They turn chemicals, including highly addictive nicotine, into an aerosol that is inhaled by the user. 

What other names do e-cigarettes go by?
E-cigarettes are known by many names:

  • E-devices
  • E-pens
  • E-hookahs
  • Hookah pens
  • Vape-pipes
  • Vape-pens
  • Vaporizers

smoking e cig






 What is “vaping”?

Vaping is the act of using an electronic cigarette, which can resemble the act of smoking a cigarette.

How much nicotine does an e-cigarette contain?

A typical e-cigarette chamber can hold up to 3 milliliters (mL) of liquid nicotine. Nicotine concentration in common products can range from 6 mg per mL all the way up to 24 mg per mL. This means one e-cigarette can contain anywhere from 18 to 72 mg of nicotine. In comparison, one cigarette can contain 8—20 mg of nicotine.

Are electronic cigarettes safer than traditional cigarettes?

E-cigarettes have not been fully studied, so consumers don’t know:

  • The potential risks of e-cigarettes when used as intended
  • How much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled during use, or
  • Whether there are any benefits associated with using these products.

Can pregnant or breastfeeding women use e-cigarettes?

No. There is no safe level of nicotine for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Nicotine can cross the placenta in the mother’s womb and can cross over to the baby through breast milk. Babies exposed to nicotine can have problems with feeding and may have delayed mental and physical development.

How can I keep my child safe from liquid nicotine?

It is important to store all nicotine products out of reach of children. Children may be attracted to liquid nicotine products because they come in brightly colored packages, are flavored, and are not required to have child resistant packaging. Parents also should not use e-cigarette products around young children as young kids may be tempted to mimic the actions of older adults.

Who can buy e-cigarettes?

  • It is illegal to sell e-cigarettes to anyone under 18 years of age in Washington.


Here is a printable PDF of this page: E-Cigarettes: Facts & Your Health




Call the Washington Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately for medical advice if you are worried about the health and safety of yourself, others or if your child has accidentally been exposed to liquid nicotine or an e-cigarette. All calls are free and confidential.

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