Top 10 Reasons to Include E-cigarettes in Your Tobacco-Free Campus Policy

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E-cigarettes pollute the air.1-3

  • E-cigarettes give off tiny particles that can lodge in the lungs and cause disease.

E-cigs give off more than just water vapor, including:

  • Propylene glycol (lung and eye irritant)1,2
  • Nicotine (addictive and harmful to unborn babies)1,2
  • Formaldehyde and β-nicotyrine (cause cancer)1,2
  • Metal & silicate particles (toxic to human cells)4

E-cigs can undermine TF campus policies by making enforcement confusing.5

  • E-cigarette aerosol creates a dense mix of vapor and fine particles that looks like tobacco smoke. If exempt from TF policies, the ‘smoky look’ creates confusion with enforcement.

No current regulations on the manufacture and sale = no consumer protection.6

  • No way to know what users are breathing in or putting into the air for others to breathe.
  • No protection from dangerous design flaws.

High nicotine levels in e-cig fluid can be deadly.

  • High levels of nicotine can be absorbed though spills on the skin or children swallowing the liquid.6
  • States report increases in calls to poison control centers from e-cigarettes.7

E-cig labels may not be accurate.8

  • E-cigarettes labeled as zero nicotine may still contain nicotine.
  • Amounts of nicotine may be more or less than what is on the label.

E-smokers are no more likely to quit than regular smokers.9

  • Many e-cigarette users continue to smoke regular cigarettes as well.
  • E-cigarettes are not approved by the FDA to help smokers quit.

E-cigs appeal to youth, even those who don’t smoke.10

  • Glamorous marketing and sweet, candy-like flavorings (bubble gum) are appealing.
  • 1.78M youth tried e-cigarettes in 2012 (160,000 of them non-smokers).10
  • Youth who use e-cigarettes are more likely to smoke regular cigarettes.11

Early research shows lung effects similar to smoking:

  • Five minutes of e-cigarette use has lung effects similar to tobacco smoke.12
  • Airways become inflamed after using e-cigarettes containing nicotine.3

E-cigs may pollute the air less than cigarettes, but they still pollute the air.1-3

  • Individuals are exposed to secondhand aerosol from e-cigarettes.

  1. Laugesen M. Safety Report on the Ruyan® E-cigarette Cartridge and Inhaled Aerosol. Christchurch: Health New Zealand Ltd.; October 30, 2008.
  2. Westenberger BJ. Evaluation of e-cigarettes: Food and Drug Administration; May 4 2009.
  3. Schober W, Szendrei K, Matzen W, et al. Use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) impairs indoor air quality and increases FeNO levels of e-cigarette consumers. Int. J . Hyg. Environ. Health.2013.
  4. Williams M, Villarreal A, Bozhilov K, Lin S, & Talbot P. Metal and silicate particles including nanoparticles are present in electronic cigarette cartomizer fluid and aerosol. PloS one, 2013;8, e57987.
  5. World Health Organization. Regulatory scope. Tobacco product regulation. Electronic nicotine delivery systems. Drug Information. 2010;24(1):30-32.
  6. Trtchounian A, Talbot P. Electronic nicotine delivery systems: is there a need for regulation? Tob Control. 2011;20(1):47-52.
  7. Roetker, M. E-cigarettes cause alarming increase in calls to poison control center. Global Newswire. December 9, 2013. Retrieved from release/2013/12/09/595574/10060841/en/E-cigarettes-cause-alarming-increase-in-calls-to- poison-control-center.html.
  8. Flouris AD, Oikonomou DN. Electronic cigarettes: miracle or menace? BMJ. 2010;340:c311.
  9. Adkison SE, O’Connor RJ, Bansal-Travers M, Hyland A, Borland R, Yong HH, Cummings KM, McNeill A, Thrasher JF, Hammond D, & Fong GT. Electronic nicotine delivery systems: International Tobacco Control Four-Country Survey. Am J PrevMed 2013;44(3):207-15.
  10. Notes from the field: electronic cigarette use among middle and high school students - United States, 2011-2012. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. Sep 6 2013;62(35):729-730.
  11. Dutra LM, Glantz SA. Electronic cigarettes and conventional cigarette use among US Adolescents. JAMA Pediatr. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.5488. Published online March 6, 2014.Available at
  12. Vardavas CI, Anagnostopoulos N, Kougias M, Evangelopoulou V, Connolly GN, Behrakis PK. Acute pulmonary effects of using an e-cigarette: impact on respiratory flow resistance, impedance and exhaled nitric oxide. Chest. 2011;141(6):1400-1406.