Public Health

What is an E-Cigarette?

E-cigarettes are battery-powered nicotine inhalation devices that claim to deliver nicotine to the user. Electronic cigarettes are also known as "e-cigs" or "electronic cigarettes". An e-cigarette is not a tobacco product, because it does not contain tobacco.

Components of E-Cigarettes

  • Lithium-ion rechargeable batteryE-Cigarette components
  • Vaporizer with a microchip: This is the heating element which helps to vaporize the liquid
  • Mouth piece: This cartridge contains the liquid nicotine solution most commonly referred to as the "e-liquid". The e-liquid has varying concentrations of liquid nicotine a well known stimulant responsible for the dependency factor in tobacco smoking.

Health and Legal Issues of E-Cigarettes

There are several important health and legal issues involved with electronic cigarettes:

  • There is no scientific evidence that e‐cigarettes can help smokers quit. The U.S. Public Health Service has found that the seven drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in combination with individual or group cessation counseling is the most effective way to help smokers quit. 
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a study in July of 2009 and found that the products contained carcinogens and toxic chemicals.
  • A study conducted at Virginia Commonwealth University and published in February 2010 found that some e-cigarettes deliver little or no nicotine to users.

Other Information on E-Cigarettes

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Electronic Cigarette Information

The American Lung Association's Position on E-Cigarettes.

For further information or questions contact:

Rachel Petersen
Tobacco Prevention Coordinator
Linn County Department of Health Services
(541) 967-3888 ext. 2173



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