Why Is Nicotine Unsafe for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults?
Most e-cigarettes (vapes) contain nicotine?the addictive drug in regular cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products.
A CDC study found that 99% of the e-cigarettes sold in assessed venues in the United States contained nicotine.1 Some vape product labels do not disclose that they contain nicotine, and some vape liquids marketed as containing 0% nicotine have been found to contain nicotine, which can harm the developing adolescent brain.2?The brain keeps developing until about age 25.
Using nicotine in adolescence can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control.2 Each time a new memory is created or a new skill is learned, stronger connections ? or synapses ? are built between brain cells. Young people?s brains build synapses faster than adult brains. Nicotine changes the way these synapses are formed.
Using nicotine in adolescence may also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.2
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- Marynak KL, Gammon DG, Rogers T, Coats EM, Singh T, King BA. Sales of Nicotine-Containing Electronic Cigarette Products: United States, 2015. American Journal of Public Health 2017; 107(5):702-705.
- Taylor G, McNeill A, Girling A, et al. Change in mental health after smoking cessation: systematic review and meta-analysis. British Medical Journal 2014;348:g1151.