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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
Jan 7


Posted By iamincontrol | January 7, 2014

The results are in!  Last month we asked you:

Are e-cigarettes safe to use?

You said:

  • Yes, definitely. (25%)
  • No, they are addictive. (50%)
  • Not sure. (25%)

Answers are pretty across the board, so let’s get the facts.  Turns out e-cigarettes are not safe to use.  Despite that, did you know that in one year, the use of e-cigarettes (aka electronic cigarettes) has doubled in teens?  In 2012, 10% of high school students surveyed said they used e-cigarettes, compared to 4.7% in 2011.  Seriously, 1 in every 10 students is using e-cigarettes?  What gives?

Maybe it seems like they’re a safe alternative to regular cigarettes. E-cigarettes deliver nicotine to your system in vapor form instead of inhaling the smoke from tobacco.

So why aren’t e-cigarettes safe?

  1. Even though e-cigarettes are said to generally contain fewer toxins than traditional cigarettes, they are still delivering toxins into your system.  The amount of nicotine in e-cigarettes can be as much or higher than the amount of nicotine in regular cigarettes.  They are still addictive.
  2. Since they don’t contain tobacco, e-cigarettes are not regulated by the government.  That means that manufacturers can put whatever they want into the e-cigarettes – more or less nicotine, along with other chemicals.
  3. E-cigarettes are smoked along with regular cigarettes 76.3% of the time by students.  It makes sense that once you get addicted to nicotine through e-cigarettes, you’re more likely to want the nicotine in regular cigarettes too.
  4. Although they aren’t specifically marketed to teens, e-cigarettes come in different flavors like cherry, vanilla, and bubblegum.  The flavors likely attract a younger audience, which is why it’s illegal to flavor traditional cigarettes. Keep in mind that selling e-cigarettes to minors is illegal in Iowa, the same as regular cigarettes.
  5. 90% of all smokers started in their teens.  If you start smoking early, that (expensive and unhealthy) habit can stay with you for life.

For more reasons to stop smoking or avoid starting, read our post on How to Quit Smoking.

You are in control of making healthy, safe choices.