vaping devicesPhoto by © iStock/BackyardProduction

Vaping Facts

Vaping devices, also known as e-cigarettes, heat a liquid to cause a mist (called aerosol), which is then inhaled into the lungs. The heated liquid usually contains nicotine, a chemical that comes from tobacco. The liquid might also contain flavorings, and sometimes THC, the chemical in marijuana that makes you high.

Vaping devices can look like regular tobacco cigarettes or even everyday items like pens or USB memory sticks (flash drives).

Other names for vaping devices:

  • e-cigs
  • e-hookahs
  • hookah pens
  • vapes
  • vape pens
  • mods (customizable, more powerful vaporizers)

Tobacco and Nicotine Facts

Image of cigarette sitting in an ash tray.Photo by © M Lee

Tobacco is a plant grown for its leaves. The leaves are dried and crushed before they are put in tobacco products.

Tobacco has a lot of chemicals that can hurt your body. One major chemical is called nicotine.

Nicotine excites the parts of the brain that make you feel good. It quickly gives you a small rush of pleasure and energy. But it soon goes away. This makes you want to use more. Sometimes nicotine can make you nervous and jittery.

People can smoke, chew, or sniff tobacco.

NEWS: If you are under 21 years old, you can no longer legally buy cigarettes, cigars, nicotine vaping devices or any other tobacco product in the U.S. The new law went into effect for all states beginning in 2020.

People can smoke tobacco with:

  • cigarettes
  • cigars
  • pipes
  • hookahs (water pipes)

People can chew tobacco with:

  • chewing tobacco
  • snuff
  • dip
  • snus

People can sniff tobacco with a product called snuff, which is put in the nose and sniffed.

People can also vape nicotine with e-cigarettes or vaporizers. You can learn more about these products in our E-Cigarette Facts.

Some slang names for cigarettes are:

  • smokes
  • cancer sticks
  • coffin nails

Some slang names for chewing tobacco and snuff are:

  • chew
  • wad
  • dip

NEXT: Signs of Vaping, Tobacco, or Nicotine Use