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Electronic Cigarettes (e-Cigarettes) FAQ

What are electronic cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are battery-operated products designed to deliver nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. They turn chemicals, including highly addictive nicotine, into an aerosol that is inhaled by the user.

What do e-cigarettes look like?

Most e-cigarettes are manufactured to look like conventional cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Some resemble everyday items such as pens and USB memory sticks.

Picture of an e-cigarette and charger
Picture of an e-cigarette and charger

What are the health risks of e-cigarettes?

E-cigarettes have not been fully studied so consumers currently don't know:

  • the potential risks of e-cigarettes when used as intended,
  • how much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled during use, or
  • if there are any benefits associated with using these products.

Additionally, it is not known if e-cigarettes may lead young people to try other tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes, which are known to cause disease and lead to premature death.

FDA Regulation of e-Cigarettes

Only e-cigarettes that are marketed for therapeutic purposes are currently regulated by the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER).The FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) currently regulates

FDA intends to issue a proposed rule extending FDA's tobacco product authorities beyond the above products to include other products like e-cigarettes. For further details, please see the Unified Agenda entry describing this rulemaking.

eCigarettes and Adverse Events

What is an Adverse Event?

An adverse event is an undesirable side effect or unexpected health or product quality problem that an individual believes was caused by the use of a tobacco product.

Reporting an Adverse Event

Anyone can report an adverse event to the FDA. In fact, these reports help us identify safety concerns with tobacco products that could cause health or safety problems beyond those normally associated with tobacco product use.

SOURCE: FDA.gov. Electronic Cigarettes (e-Cigarettes).



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