Young people start smoking or using tobacco products for many reasons – to act older, be independent, fit in, relieve stress, rebel against adults and (sometimes) imitate their parents.
However, nicotine, the addictive drug found in regular cigarettes and other tobacco products, can harm teens’ and young adults’ developing brains and cause problems with learning, attention and memory. Plus, it’s illegal to sell or supply any tobacco product to anyone under 18 in the United States.
Electronic cigarettes are now the most widely used form of tobacco for U.S. youth. They are also known as also known as vapes, e-cigs, mods, e-hookahs, tank systems, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and more. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine and some contain other harmful chemicals.
From 2011 to 2015, e-cigarette use among middle and high school students increased an incredible 900 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle schoolers (more than 3.6 million youth) used e-cigarettes in 2018.