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The Facts About Vaping

The facts about vaping from Spectrum health

What's in a Vape?


The primary drug in tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes and is highly addictive. It rewires your brain, changing the way you think and act.

Nicotine Salts

These lab-engineered compounds were designed to make it easier for your body to absorb nicotine, delivering more nicotine with every hit.

Volatile Organic Compounds

VOCs are gases produced by certain solids and liquids. One VOC is benzene, which is found in car exhaust. Other common VOCs can be found in paint, varnishes and pesticides. At certain levels, VOCs can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches and nausea, and even liver, kidney, or nervous system damage.

Heavy Metals

Including Nickel and Lead, which are carcinogens, these metals can be produced by the heating element, the e-cig housing, or the e-liquid itself. When inhaled, these metals can cause coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, or shortness of breath.


Acetone can be found in nail polish remover and paint thinner. Inhaling can lead to headaches, dizziness, confusion, and nausea.

Formaldehyde & Acrolein

These cancer-causing chemicals, commonly used to preserve the dead, can damage your tissue on a molecular level and can even change your DNA.


Many flavored e-liquids contain diacetyl, a chemical linked to lung disease. It gained notoriety in 2000 when it was found to have caused workers in a microwave popcorn factory to contract "pop corn lung" from breathing in the buttery flavoring. The disease causes scarring to the lung’s tiny air sacs, which narrows the airways. One study found that exposure decreased the number of cells that help keep the airways clear.

Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol is used to retain water and to keep things moist. The long-term effects of heating and inhaling propylene glycol, however, aren’t well known. But evidence shows that when heated, it can cause eye and throat irritation. It is also the chemical used in smoke machines.

Tobacco 21
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The Facts About Vaping
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