ENDS devices have a battery-powered heating element that heats up a liquid. The liquids contain nicotine and flavorings dissolved in propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin. When the liquid is heated, it creates an aerosol that is inhaled by the user. These liquids can come in bottles for refilling e-cigarettes or pre-filled cartridges or pods. These liquids are often called e-liquid or e-juice.
Water, nicotine, propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin, and flavoring compounds are the commonly listed ingredients in e-liquids. But researchers have found that each e-liquid can actually have 60-70 compounds or ingredients. When the liquid is heated, these ingredients can change into other chemicals and compounds that may not be safe. Source. We do not know the effects of inhaling propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin or many of the flavorings used in e-liquids. Consuming these substances in food products is considered safe, but we don’t know if it’s safe to breathe them into the lungs. (Source)
ENDS aerosol is not harmless water vapor!
The aerosol is created when an e-liquid is heated. There are many factors that influence what types and amounts of harmful substances are in the aerosol. The type of e-liquid and its ingredients, and the amount of power and temperature used to heat the aerosol all affect what is in the aerosol. This can make researching e-cigarettes harder because there are so many different combinations to test. Some of the harmful substances are more likely to be in the aerosol when a high power (voltage) and temperature are used. (Source)ENDS aerosol can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances including:
- fine and ultra-fine particles
- volatile organic compounds
- heavy metals
- cancer-causing chemicals → formaldehyde (human carcinogen), acetaldehyde (possibly carcinogenic)
- other substances, depending on the flavoring used in the e-liquid and the temperature it’s heated to
How might the chemicals in e-cigarettes affect my body?
We break it down here.
Learn more & use their interactive graphic about the effects of vaping on your body, secondhand vapor, third-hand nicotine.
Find more information about electronic cigarettes, tobacco, and free 24/7 confidential support to quit at QuitlineNC.com.