An e-cigarette uses a battery to heat up a liquid that is turned into an aerosol, which users inhale. The liquid is most commonly nicotine with additives such as propylene glycol, flavorings, and other chemicals. Inhaling these products can have serious enough consequences, but the heating process itself forms additional toxic chemicals. Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead and a variety of carcinogens have been found in the vapors produced by e-cigarettes.
Lung injury is so common it has earned the term EVALI (e-cigarette and vaping-associated lung injury). In a period of just two years ending in 2019, 1,479 lung injury cases in 49 states and 33 deaths in 24 states were documented by the CDC due to “vaping” (called this because of the vapors the products produce). By February 2020, 2,807 hospitalized EVALI cases or deaths had been reported to the CDC from all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, including 68 deaths.
Injuries from e-cigarettes