Use of e-cigarettes mimics conventional cigarette smoking, and e-cigarettes also contain the same addictive ingredient, nicotine. Instead of smoke from burning tobacco, e-cigarette users inhale aerosol, or vapor, consisting of nicotine, flavor additives and other chemicals. When users inhale from the end of an e-cigarette, a battery-operated device heats a liquid solution (e-liquid or e-juice) into an aerosol.
Existing evidence about electronic cigarettes raises the concern that they may:
- have an adverse impact on user’s health
- encourage youth smoking initiation through modeling and nicotine addiction
- perpetuate the use of nicotine and tobacco products among users who might otherwise quit
- counter the effectiveness of smoke-free policies
In May 2015, Oregon governor Kate Brown signed HB 2546, which expands the Oregon Indoor Clean Air Act (ICAA) to include the use of “inhalant delivery systems,” which include e-cigarettes, vape pens, e-hookah and other devices. Under the law, Oregonians may not use e-cigarettes and other inhalant delivery systems in workplaces, restaurants, bars and other indoor public places in Oregon beginning January 1, 2016. There are no exemptions for electronic cigarette retail outlets, smoke shops, bars or other venues. The law also bans the sale, purchase or use of electronic cigarettes for those under the age of 18.
For more information on electronic cigarettes, please click on the E-cigarette primer.
A report titled Vaporized: E-Cigarettes, Advertising, and Youth by Legacy, examines the recent rise of e-cigarette use among youth, and the entry of the major tobacco companies into the e-cigarette market.
A policy guide titled Regulating Toxic Vapor: A Policy Guide to Electronic Smoking Devices by ChangeLab Solutions, contains comprehensive information about electronic smoking devices and what steps have been taken thus far to regulate them.
A 2013 CD Summary from the Oregon Public Health Division, E-Cigarettes: Smokeless Does Not Mean Harmless, discusses the health and policy implications of e-cigarette sale and use.