Information and Resources on Vaping

What is vaping?
Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as “vapor”, produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. These devices are also known as e-cigs, vapes, vape pens, JUULs, “jeweling,” or mods.

How do these devices work?
Regardless of look, most contain the following basic components:

  1. A cartridge or reservoir which holds a liquid solution (e-liquid or e-juice) containing varying amounts of nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals, or THC-rich extracts like hash oil
  2. A heating element (atomizer)
  3. A power source (usually a battery)
  4. A mouthpiece that the person uses to inhale

In most devices, puffing activates the heating component, which vaporizes the liquid. The person then inhales and exhales the resulting aerosol.

What is being put in these devices?
They are used with a liquid containing just flavoring, and/or varying levels of nicotine, or can be used with a THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana) oil.  Liquids often come in flavors appealing to kids such as cotton candy and peach ring.

How prevalent is vaping?
Vaping devices are more commonly used than traditional cigarettes by teens. In York County, 1 in 3 high school aged youth report having ever tried one (Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey, 2017).

Isn’t it just harmless “water vapor” being released?
Vaping devices allow the user to make large clouds that many think are just water vapor, but are in fact an “aerosol mist.” An aerosol is a mixture of liquid particles suspended in a gas and can contain many chemicals. Instead of just mixing with the air like a pure gas, aerosols can leave drops behind. Because of secondhand exposure concerns, in 2015 Maine passed a law banning the use of these devices in places smoking is already banned.

Can other substances besides nicotine be vaped?
Yes, marijuana can also be vaped. This can be done by either using a concentrated oil or simply placing the marijuana inside the device (not all devices allow this.).
Beyond Nicotine: Vaping Marijuana
5 Things To Know About E-Cigarettes For Marijuana

Check out our vaping playlist on our YouTube channel for more videos!

Resources:

  • Flavors Hook Kids An interactive website from the California Department of Public Health which talks about vaping and flavored tobacco, and their appeal to kids.

In the news:

‘I Can’t Stop’: Schools Struggle With Vaping Explosion
Teens inhale cancer-causing chemicals in e-cigarettes
Maine School Officials Alarmed About Rising Popularity of Vaping
High School Kids Use E-Cigarettes to Smoke Cannabis: Study
‘Juuling’: The most widespread phenomenon you’ve never heard of