Inhalant Delivery Systems (e-cigarettes)
Inhalant delivery systems are battery-operated devices that are designed to look like and be used in the same manner as conventional cigarettes. These devices also vary in design and can also go by different names such as atomizers, vaporizers, vape pens, e-cigarettes and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). The devices all operate the same in that they use cartridges to deliver liquid nicotine and other additives to the user, and emit nicotine aerosol (or vapor, as the industry calls it) instead of smoke.
Usage rates among youth are rising fast. From 2011-2013 in Oregon, e-cigarette use increased by 100% in eighth graders and by 250% by eleventh graders.
Currently, inhalant delivery systems are not regulated by the FDA and are not required to comply with tobacco regulations. There are no advertising restrictions for this product. The industry spent more than $115 million on e-cigarette advertising in 2014.
Are they safe?
Inhalant delivery systems have not been proven safe. A 2009 FDA analysis of e-cigarettes from two leading brands found that samples contained carcinogens and other hazardous chemicals, including diethylene glycol, which is found in antifreeze. Recent research studies have shown high levels of formaldehyde as well as the presence of metal and silicate particles in the vapor exhaled by the user. In some instances, the exposure to these chemicals was greater than that of a regular cigarette.
The FDA also found detectable levels of carcinogenic tobacco-specific nitrosamines in e-cigarette aerosol, posing a “passive vaping” risk to bystanders.
For more information regarding inhalant delivery systems, visit the CDC's Key Facts page.
How to Help
Local businesses are encouraged to incorporate inhalant delivery systems and other electronic smoking devices into their tobacco-free and smokefree worksite policies.
For technical assistance or additional information, contact Gwyn Ashcom at 503-846-4544.