The Risks of E-Cigarettes for Young People

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are the most commonly used tobacco product among youth. Youth use of e-cigarettes nearly doubled among high school students (11.7% to 20.8%) and increased from 3.3% to 4.9% among middle school students from 2017 to 2018 (National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2018).

The main risks of e-cigarette use among youth:

E-cigarette aerosol is not harmless water vapor – it contains nicotine, ultrafine particles, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds.

Using nicotine in adolescence can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control.

E-cigarette use is strongly associated with use of other tobacco products, including cigarettes.

Nicotine can prime the adolescent brain for addiction to other drugs.

Bottom Line - Youth use of products containing nicotine in any form, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe.

Click on the buttons below to learn more:

For those trying to quit tobacco help is available. Click on the buttons below for more information and free resources to help teens (under 18) or adults (18 and older) quit.

Tobacco Control in Missouri

Missouri’s comprehensive tobacco control initiatives include efforts to create community smoke free air laws, youth tobacco use prevention, tobacco cessation assistance, and education and awareness through media.

Missouri Tobacco Quitline

Missouri offers free help to smokers who want to quit using tobacco. The Missouri Tobacco Quitline provides counseling, information, and referrals. The Quitline number is 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

Smoke-Free Public Housing

By July 30, 2018, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) required all HUD residences and common areas to be protected by a smoke-free policy. The policy must include:

  • Cigarettes and cigars cannot be smoked in buildings on HUD properties, including offices, residences, and common areas, or within 25 feet of any buildings on HUD property.
  • Although electronic cigarettes are not required to be included in the policy, management of public housing authorities may also prohibit the use of these products in their facilities.

For those that manage public housing authorities, review the following toolkit for information and resources to assist with the implementation and enforcement of the policy.

Missouri smoke-free public housing agency toolkit