What are e-cigarettes and vaping
E-cigarette use has many health and safety risks. They contain chemicals that are known causes of cancer and lung damage.
People who use e-cigarette risk injuries and burns from exploding devices, signs of reduced lung function and harm to unborn babies.
E-cigarettes, commonly called vapes, can be disposable or refillable
They may be sold to children (illegally) or adults in tobacconists, convenience stores, informally at school or train stations and promoted for sale online via social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram
E-cigarettes contain an e-liquid (or juice, or vape juice) that is a chemical liquid
Recent reports have found more than 200 unique chemicals are used in e-liquids
An e-cigarette is a battery powered device that heats up an e-liquid heated to become an aerosol, or a fine spray of chemical particles inhaled deep into the lungs
The act of inhalation may cause the metals from inside the chamber of the e-cigarette to also be inhaled
Toxic metals can leach off the solid surface of the e-cigarette chamber directly into the liquid. But many of the toxic contaminants may also come from contamination of the chemical ingredients in e-liquids
Disposable e-cigarettes are almost impossible to discard responsibly. They contain single-use plastics, lithium batteries and metals
Many disposable e-cigarettes get discarded as litter – you may start to notice these devices around your local area
The battery acid can leech into the soil causing environmental harm
While we all know cigarette butt litter is a problem, e-cigarettes represent a new environmental challenge, especially when you consider the cheaper devices favoured by many young people are single use