There is a lot of misinformation about vaping.

Let us clear the air for you by unpacking the myths vs. facts.

Myth: Flavored vapes are just harmless water vapor and may not contain nicotine.

Fact: 99 percent of vape products sold in U.S. convenience stores contain nicotine1 including many of teens’ top choices like flavored and disposable products.

Plus, the chemicals used to create vape flavorings can damage the lungs, heart and immune system, whether or not nicotine is present. Among the most toxic are the chemicals used to create some chocolate and banana flavors.2

Myth: It’s hard for youth to get vape products.

Fact: Despite sales laws, youth can still buy vape products from peers, friends, and relatives, and age restrictions at retail stores are not always enforced.
In 2019, half of Colorado youth who vaped said they borrowed their products from someone else. Two-thirds of Colorado youth say they paid an adult to purchase products or got them from someone who is of legal age.3

Myth: Flavored tobacco is now banned.

Fact: Some federal limits around flavored tobacco passed in 2020, but there is no statewide restriction on the sale of flavored tobacco. A variety of flavored vape products remain on the market and accessible to youth.

In fact, flavors still have a hold on most youth who vape – four out of five youth who vape use flavored products.4

More regulations are needed to curb sales to youth and prevent long-term addiction.


Myth: Now that the legal age to buy tobacco has been raised to 21, middle- and high-school-aged youth are protected.

Fact: Federal and state laws raised the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products from 18 to 21. That’s a step in the right direction. However, many young people can still get products from older peers. In addition, not all retailers strictly enforce age restrictions.

Myth: Vape is less harmful than other tobacco products.

Fact: Vape e-juice contains a combination of chemicals that cause short- and long-term health impacts. Most vape products contain nicotine, which is highly addictive.

Vaping is especially dangerous for youth because nicotine can harm the developing brain, create memory problems, and increase depression.

Other short-term problems can include wheezing, coughing, sinus infections, nosebleeds, shortness of breath and asthma.5 And young people who vape are more than four times more likely to smoke traditional cigarettes a year later.6

1. Sales of Nicotine-Containing Electronic Cigarette Products: United States, 2015. American Journal of Public Health. Retrieved from:
2. Miranda P. Ween et al. E-cigarettes and health risks: more to the flavour than just the name, American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology (2020). DOI: 10.1152/ajplung.00370.2020. Retrieved from:
3. Healthy Kids Colorado Survey 2019. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
4. FDA National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2020.
5. More evidence that e-cigs cause asthma on top of the effects of smoking cigs. University of California San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control and Education. Retrieved from
6. E-cigarette use as a predictor of cigarette smoking: results from a 1-year follow-up of a national sample of 12th-grade students. Retrieved from