Electronic Smoking Devices (ESDs)

Not Safe for Use in Smokefree Spaces

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are part of a category of products called Electronic Smoking Devices (ESDs), which are designed to mimic combustible tobacco cigarettes and, in most cases, contain varying levels of nicotine.

ESDs are relatively new products that require further study. The scientific evidence on the short-term and long-term health effects of the use of ESDs and exposure to ESD secondhand aerosol is growing, and the initial findings indicate there are risks associated with both use and exposure.

As of April 1, 2024, 1,061 municipalities, plus 26 states, commonwealths, and territories restrict e-cigarette use in 100% smokefree venues.

Big Tobacco lies. So did JUUL.

JUUL perpetuated old tobacco industry lies. It made sense – Altria, the bad actor formerly known as Philip Morris, maker of Marlboro cigarettes, owned a 35% stake in JUUL. With so many adults kicking the cigarette smoking habit, Altria was looking for ways to sustain its financial stability.

While JUUL and others claim that these electronic smoking devices are to help smokers switch from tobacco to e-liquids, the truth is these companies have reverted back to old profiling and marketing efforts, which includes creating attractive ads and flavors to recruit new users – namely youth and young adult never smokers.

ANR Foundation created a series of JUUL Lies posts to expose industry behavior and misinformation, and raise awareness about e-cigarettes, including JUUL, on youth nicotine addiction and the health impact of these products on nonsmokers


On December 8, 2016, the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office released “E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General,” which comprehensively reviewed the public health issue of e-cigarettes and their impact on U.S. youth and young adults. Studies highlighted in the report cover young adolescents (11-14 years of age); adolescents (15-17 years of age); and/or young adults (18-25 years of age). The report stated that, “E-cigarette use among U.S. youth and young adults is now a major public health concern. E-cigarette use has increased considerably in recent years, growing an astounding 900% among high school students from 2011 to 2015. These products are now the most commonly used form of tobacco among youth in the United States, surpassing conventional tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and hookahs. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which can cause addiction and can harm the developing adolescent brain.”

Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy stated at the press conference announcing the report:

“Secondhand aerosol from electronic smoking devices is not harmless water vapor. The aerosol created by e-cigarettes can contain ingredients that are harmful and potentially harmful to the public’s health, including: nicotine; ultrafine particles; flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust; and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead. State and local leaders should take action to address e-cigarette use and exposure to secondhand aerosol by including e-cigarettes into smokefree policies and laws, preventing access to e-cigarettes by youth, price and tax policies, retail licensure, regulation of e-cigarette marketing likely to attract youth, and educational initiatives targeting youth and young adults.”


Electronic cigarettes and ESDs also pose a risk of fire and explosions, which result in serious injuries and property damage. Our staff has collected various news stories about such events. Please be advised that many of these stories contain graphic and upsetting photos of injuries.


Learn more about potential health hazards of secondhand aerosol (a.k.a. vapor) emitted by electronic cigarettes and electronic smoking devices.


Curious about what research has been done about electronic cigarettes?  Review our bibliography of research citations!


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