The Problem

According to Louisiana’s Youth Tobacco Survey in 2021, 1 in 10 middle school students currently vape. Tobacco use among high schoolers is 35%, which is more than DOUBLE that of middle schoolers. Youth nicotine use in any form is unsafe. Early use of any tobacco product—including vapes—disrupts brain development, increases the risk of long-term addiction, and can cause irreversible health effects before reaching adulthood. Vaping products/e-cigarettes are battery-operated devices where users inhale an aerosol that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and other ingredients. More than 2 out of 3 youths do not consider vapes to be a tobacco product, which gives the misconception that it’s safer. The use of vape products, e-cigarettes, or other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) has increased dramatically over the past couple of years, especially for youth.


The aerosol from e-cigarettes is not harmless. It can contain harmful and potentially harmful chemicals, including nicotine; ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust; and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead. Scientists are still working to understand more fully the health effects and harmful doses of e-cigarette contents when they are heated and turned into an aerosol, both for active users who inhale from a device and for those who are exposed to the aerosol secondhand.

What Can Be Done  

Learn to recognize a vaping device as some are made to resemble pens, USB sticks, and other everyday items. Be honest with preteens and teens and talk to them about the dangers of vaping, e-cigarettes, and other ENDS devices. For help with quitting, youth can text VAPEFREE to 873373. To advocate for a change, youth can visit School staff and health professionals can visit to learn how to support youth and to use the Vape Free Schools Toolkit.

For more help on how to talk to your child(ren) about the dangers of e-cigarettes, vape products, and more, please visit the Surgeon General’s website at The Live Vape Free Adult Advocacy, launched on July 1st, 2023, is a tool designed to equip parents, guardians or any adult with expert advice on how to approach teens about vaping or who need quit support.

Contact Jaime Cyprian,, TFL Sr. Regional Manager, or Chrishelle Stipe,, TFL Cessation Manager. Check out the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living, for additional resources.

Additional Sources: 1CDC, Surgeon General Report: Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults, 2012. 2CDC, Unfair and Unjust Practices, and Conditions Harm African American People and Drive Health Disparities, 2022. 3CDC, Health Disparities Related to Commercial Tobacco and Advancing Health Equity, 2022. 4Truth Initiative: Higher nicotine levels in fruit-, menthol-, and mint-flavored e-cigarettes is tied to greater nicotine dependence, 2022.

(An informative health and wellness article from the Chamber’s Live Better St. Tammany Committee member Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living.)