Air Quality: E-cigarette 1
Image: UNC CEHS COEC
Big Idea: Use of e-cigarettes is increasing in North Carolina and across the US.
- In recent years, the use of e-cigarettes (also called vaping or “juuling”) has skyrocketed. E-cigarettes are devices developed to reduce smokers’ exposure to nicotine, but they contain other chemicals like formaldehyde that may be harmful to the lungs.
- While traditional cigarette use among North Carolina youth has trended downward in the past 20 years, vaping has grown at an alarming rate. Similar to the national rate, over the last 6 years, vaping has increased by nearly 900% among North Carolina high school students and by 430% among middle school students.
- E-cigarette devices and flavorings are increasingly popular among youth and young adults who vape or “juul.”
- UNC researchers are exploring how these flavorings are altering the genetic makeup of cells that typically fight respiratory illnesses, and are seeing greater impacts than what they’ve seen with traditional cigarettes.
US Surgeon General’s Report, 2016
NC Youth Tobacco Survey, 2017
Ilona Jaspers, presentation to NC Lead/Healthy Homes Task Force, Chapel Hill, NC, 8/30/17
Martin et al, 2016. “E-cigarette use results in suppression of immune and inflammatory-response genes in nasal epithelial cells similar to cigarette smoke”