Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems

Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), also called e-cigarettes, personal vaporizers, vape pens, e-cigars, e-hookah, or vaping devices, are products that produce an aerosolized mixture containing flavored liquids and nicotine that is inhaled by the user. ENDS can resemble traditional tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or common gadgets like flashlights, flash drives, or pens.

These products are exploding in popularity, and are being used by both adolescents and adults. ENDS are now estimated to be a $1.5 billion market, and are projected to grow 24.2% per year through 20181. In 2015, more teens used e-cigarettes than regular cigarettes- 10% of 8th graders, 14% of 10th graders, and 16% of 12th graders used e-cigarettes, compared to 4%, 6%, and 11% for cigarettes, respectively2.

Quick Facts about ENDS
  • ENDS contain a liquid solution that is usually flavored. Flavors, which are appealing to children, often are things like peach schnapps, java jolt, piña colada, peppermint, bubble gum, or chocolate
  • ENDS solution has chemicals (ie, anti-freeze, diethylene glycol, and carcinogens like nitrosamines)3
  • ENDS are not yet regulated nor approved for smoking cessation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the long-term health effects to users and bystanders are still unknown. Due to the lack of regulation, the chemical compounds in an ENDS device can vary between brands3
  • These devices mimic conventional cigarette use and help re-normalize smoking behaviors
  • ENDS are not approved for smoking cessation, and the long-term health effects to users and bystanders are skill unknown. The chemical compounds in an ENDS device can vary between brands.3
  • Symptoms of nicotine poisoning include vomiting, sweating, dizziness, increased heart rate, lethargy, seizures, and difficulty breathing3
  • In 2014, poison centers in the US reported 3,783 exposures to e-cigarette devices and nicotine liquid, compared to only 1,543 exposures in 2013. In 2015, 3,073 exposures were reported4
  • Some states have enacted legislation to require child-resistant packaging, and a bill to do this at the national level was supported by the AAP before being signed into law by President Obama in early 2016.
  • ENDS users should always keep e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine locked up and out of the reach of children and follow the specific disposal instructions on the label5
  • In 2016, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD MBA released a report, “E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General.” The report concluded that youth should not use e-cigarettes due to the health effects on users and on others exposed to secondhand e-cigarette aerosol.6

AAP Resources about ENDS

1) Fortune. June 10, 2014. U.S. e-cigarette sales seen rising 24.2% per year through 2018. Available at http://fortune.com/2014/06/10/e-cigarette-sales-rising/. Accessed October 16, 2015.

2) Johnston, L., et al. (2016). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use: 1975-2015: Overview, key findings on adolescent drug use. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.

3) American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Tobacco Control. Policy statement: Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems. Pediatrics. 2015; 136(5):1018—1026.

4) American Association of Poison Control Centers. January 31, 2016. Electronic Cigarettes and Liquid Nicotine Data. Available at https://aapcc.s3.amazonaws.com/files/library/E-cig__Nicotine_Web_Data_through_01.2016.pdf. Accessed February 10, 2016.

5) American Association of Poison Control Centers. E-Cigarette Devices and Liquid Nicotine. Available at http://www.aapcc.org/alerts/e-cigarettes/. Accessed October 16, 2015.

6) US Department of Health and Human Services (2016). E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA. US 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.