E-cigarettes - Tobacco Prevention and Control - Minnesota Department of Health prevention and control">

E-cigarettes and Vapes

an image of e-cigarette productsE-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.

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

Youth e-cigarette use is an emerging public health threat.

chart showing high schoolers use e-cigs at twice the rate of cigarettesAmong Minnesota high school students, e-cigarette use is now double conventional cigarette use.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

Get more data on e-cigarette us in Minnesota at Tobacco NUMBRS.

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

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 QUITPLAN® Services at www.quitplan.com or by calling 1-888-354-PLAN (7526).

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

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

Resources for health professionals

Resources for parents

Resources for schools

4/25/2018 Letter to Schools from Minnesota's Health and Education Commissioners (PDF)

The toolkit below provides tools and resources for Minnesota school staff, including administrators, educators, teachers and health services staff, who are working to address the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products in schools. It outlines opportunities for action that can be taken by various school staff, along with resources and tools to help.

School Administrators

Tobacco-free spaces are a proven way to prevent youth tobacco use and protect students, faculty, and visitors from secondhand smoke. Tobacco-free schools is one way to address increasing popularity of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices among youth.

Here's what you can do

Strengthen and review current policy.
Issue an advisory to parents.
Resources for parents
Promote health messaging throughout school.
  • Free Signs (Association for Nonsmokers – Minnesota)
Free print and digital materials, such as posters (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

Download these posters and more at CTP’s Exchange Lab.

Free school posters

image of posterThese posters target youth with messaging on the harms of nicotine and risk of addiction. These posters were developed by Hopkins One Voice Coalition, in partnership with Hennepin County and Community Blueprint, with input from a youth focus group from Hopkins High school.

School Health Services

Here’s what you can do

Educate students on the harms of nicotine and e-cigarette use.
Provide resources to parents about talking to their teens.
Share resources for quitting tobacco.

To help youth

To help adults

Curriculum Coordinators, Health Educators, and Teachers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides evidence-based recommendations to help design and implement quality school programs to prevent tobacco use. While the tobacco industry continues to engage schools and offer free tobacco prevention curriculum, industry-sponsored school-based programs are ineffective and may ultimately promote tobacco use among youth.

Here’s what you can do

Update curriculum that addresses the harms of nicotine and e-cigarette use.

Presentation for Youth: Know the Risks - A Youth Guide to E-cigarettes
The CDC developed this presentation to educate youth on e-cigarettes, including the health risks, the factors that lead to e-cigarette use, and what youth can do to avoid all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. This resource is intended for adults who educate or serve youth ages 11 – 18 (teachers, youth ministers, coaches, scout leaders, etc.). Utilizing the talking points and information for users document, the presenter does not require additional information, nor permission to deliver the presentation.

Learn more about this Presentation for Youth.

Use relevant, youth friendly lesson plans.

Download this toolkit: Addressing Student Use of 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., Teens and Tobacco in Minnesota: Highlights from the 2017 Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey. 2018.
  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, 13-Sep-2019 08:04:22 CDT