Welcome to the future. Vapor technology is among the most exciting public health innovations of the 21st century. Vapor products represent the best chance for the world’s one billion smokers to lead healthier lifestyles by reducing and quitting smoking, a global scourge that kills nearly 6 million people every year. 1
Vaping is perhaps the most effective method for quitting cigarettes. It allows smokers to manage their nicotine consumption with products that are at least 95% safer. 2
The American Cancer Society considers them to be “significantly less harmful” because they do not burn tobacco and do not contain the estimated 7,000 chemicals typically found in cigarettes.3
There is no peer-reviewed science concluding that vapor products cause lung cancer, emphysema, or other respiratory or cardiovascular diseases. Unlike cigarettes, they can be modulated to control the amount of nicotine. This can be particularly helpful for long-time smokers who switch to vaping as a way to transition away from nicotine entirely. In fact, many vapor products do not contain nicotine at all.
Flavored vapor products are designed to give adult users a more appealing alternative to cigarette smoking. Studies have shown that the availability of flavors is perhaps the single most important factor for those who successfully quit cigarettes by switching to vaping.4
There is no serious evidence to suggest that flavors are more toxic or more dangerous than non-flavored products. Banning or severely limiting the most popular flavors will only hurt those who need vapor products – adult smokers trying to lead a healthier lifestyle by quitting cigarettes.
Vaping is the first innovation we’ve seen that truly has the potential to end the smoking epidemic. There’s strong evidence to show we’re already on our way. A November 2018 study from Georgetown University Medical Center showed that cigarette smoking has decreased dramatically just as vapor products have gained in popularity.5
The Centers for Disease Control reports that the number of smokers in the United States has dropped from 20.6% in 2009 to only 14% as of 2016 – the lowest in recorded history.6
The economic cost of smoking, including direct medical care and lost productivity, is estimated at over $300 billion annually just in the United States. Smoking kills nearly 500,000 Americans every year.
Personal electronic vaporizing devices, commonly known as e-cigarettes, are essentially battery powered personal vaporizers that simulate the traditional method of smoking tobacco cigarettes, but without the deleterious effects of inhaling the many harmful byproducts generated by the combustion process. The user activates his or her vapor device by either inhaling or pressing a button on the device itself. The device’s atomizer, or heating element, is then activated to a high temperature by an electrical charge and aerosolizes a nicotine-containing e-liquid, generating an aerosol, or “vapor,” that is delivered to the user’s lungs. The use of a personal vaporizing device is often referred to as “vaping.”
As shown below, the devices come in many variations. Vapor devices may be disposable or reusable in nature and reusable devices may be “closed” or “open” systems. Devices that are “closed” come pre-filled with e-liquid or use only cartridges or pods that are pre-filled with e-liquid; they do not allow the consumer the option of using a different e-liquid of his or her choice. “Open” systems, in contrast, allow the consumer to separately purchase an e-liquid of his or her choice and refill the device as the e-liquid is consumed. The vapor devices most commonly found in convenience stores and mass market channels are disposable and reusable closed systems, while refillable open systems are more commonly found in specialty vape and tobacco shops. Both types of devices are also sold through online retailers.
E-liquids are comprised primarily of (1) propylene glycol; (2) vegetable glycerin; (3) flavorings; and (4) nicotine in varying levels including zero. A vapor device is comprised of five principal components: (1) a mouthpiece, which is where the user places his or her mouth to inhale the e-liquid; (2) a heating element or atomizer, which aerosolizes the e-liquid—typically through contact with a metal coil or ceramic plate; (3) a microprocessor, (4) a tank—a clear cylinder or other compartment that is capable of storing the e-liquid; and (5) A power source, which typically includes a battery and regulates power. Virtually all vapor devices include these principal components. The graphic below depicts these components in one type of vapor device