E-cigarettes - Tobacco Prevention and Control - Minnesota Department of Health

E-cigarettes and Vaping

2/8/2021: Information about Commercial Tobacco and COVID-19

E-cigarettes, vapes, vape or hookah pens, e-pipes, and other vaping products are battery-powered devices that allow users to inhale, or vape, aerosolized liquid (e-juice). Beginning August 1, 2019, Minnesota law prohibits the use of these products indoors where cigarette use is prohibited, including bars and restaurants.

an image of e-cigarette products

E-cigarettes are the most commonly used commercial tobacco product among youth,1 so it is critical that public health officials and the general public understand the potential risks of using them.

  • For Parents

  • Tools for talking to your kids about the dangers of vaping
  • For Schools

  • Tools for addressing youth vaping use in schools


Youth e-cigarette use is a public health threat.

chart showing high schoolers use e-cigs at twice the rate of cigarettesAmong Minnesota students, e-cigarettes are used at five times the rate of conventional cigarettes.2

8th grade e-cigarette use nearly doubled from 2016 to 2019, and one in four 11th graders now use e-cigarettes.2

Additionally, nearly 6 percent of adults currently use e-cigarettes, compared to less than 2 percent in 2010; and, nearly 13 percent of adults age 18-24 use e-cigarettes.3 The use of multiple tobacco products – dual use – is common: 37 percent of adult e-cigarette users also use cigarettes.3

E-cigarettes are not safe for youth.

Nearly all e-cigarettes contain nicotine.5 Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm the developing adolescent brain.1, 6, 7 Because the brain is still developing until about age 25, youth and young adult exposure to nicotine can lead to addiction and disrupt attention and learning.1 No amount of nicotine is safe for youth.

Over one in five of Minnesota high school students who has tried e-cigarettes has never tried any conventional tobacco products.2 Recent evidence suggests that, compared to youth who have never used them, youth who have tried e-cigarettes are much more likely to start smoking in the future.8

Learn more about the Health Risks of Nicotine for Youth.

E-cigarettes attract kids despite the dangers.

  • E-cigarettes are available in fruit and candy flavors; flavored tobacco products appeal to youth.9
  • A majority of Minnesota high school students (88.4%) have seen ads for e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.2
  • E-cigarettes are available for purchase online.10

Learn more about Flavored Commercial Tobacco Products.

E-cigarette aerosol contains harmful chemicals.

Similar to smoke and secondhand smoke from cigarettes and other tobacco products, aerosol from e-cigarettes (often called vapor) contains harmful and potentially harmful constituents, such as ultrafine particles, heavy metals like nickel, tin, and lead, and other cancer-causing chemicals.1

Exposure may increase risk of breathing problems.

Exposure to e-cigarette aerosol may be a trigger for both kids and adults with breathing problems, such as asthma, increasing their risk of severe asthma attacks. In Minnesota, kids with asthma who are exposed to e-cigarette aerosol are more likely to report symptoms than those not exposed, such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or chest pain.11

Learn more about Asthma.

E-cigarettes are not proven to help people quit smoking.

E-cigarettes are not FDA-approved smoking quitting aids, and they are not proved to help people quit. Free quitting medications and counseling are available to all Minnesotans by visiting Quit Partner or by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669).

For more free quit smoking resources visit www.health.mn.gov/quit.

Download this information: E-cigarettes and Vaping (PDF)
Quick Card for download and print: E-cigarettes and Vapes (PDF)

Learn more


  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults. A Report of the Surgeon General. 2016, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health: Atlanta, GA.
  2. Health, M.D.o., et al., Minnesota Student Survey. 2019.
  3. Health, C.M.a.t.M.D.o., Tobacco Use in Minnesota: 2018. 2018.
  4. ClearWay Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey. 2014.
  5. Marynak, K.L., et al., Sales of Nicotine-Containing Electronic Cigarette Products: United States, 2015. Am J Public Health, 2017. 107(5): p. 702-705.
  6. England, L.J., et al., Developmental toxicity of nicotine: A transdisciplinary synthesis and implications for emerging tobacco products. Neurosci Biobehav Rev, 2017. 72: p. 176-189.
  7. Goriounova, N.A. and H.D. Mansvelder, Short- and long-term consequences of nicotine exposure during adolescence for prefrontal cortex neuronal network function. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med, 2012. 2(12): p. a012120.
  8. Berry, K.M., et al., Association of electronic cigarette use with subsequent initiation of tobacco cigarettes in US youths. JAMA network open, 2019. 2(2): p. e187794-e187794.
  9. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults. A Report of the Surgeon General. 2012.
  10. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA and Public Health Experts Warn About Electronic Cigarettes. 2012; Available from: http://www.fda.gov/Newsevents/Newsroom/Pressannouncements/ucm173222.htm.
  11. Helgertz, S. and K. Norlien, Tobacco use and asthma. 2019, Minnesota Department of Health: Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Updated Friday, 06-May-2022 10:18:37 CDT