Nicotine is a highly addictive substance found in tobacco products. Exposure to nicotine during the adolescent years has damaging long-term affects on brain growth and development. Besides containing an extremely addictive chemical, tobacco products also contain many cancer-causing chemicals.

Types of Products

There are three main forms of nicotine delivery:

1. Smoked Tobacco

  • Cigarettes, Cigars, Pipes, and Hookahs

2. Smokeless Tobacco

  • Chewing tobacco and Snuff

3. Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)

  • E-cigarettes & Vape Products

What’s In a Cigarette?

Warning: what your about to read will disgust you—precede with caution. 

  • Acetone—found in nail polish remover
  • Acetic acid—an ingredient in hair dye
  • Ammonia—a common household cleaner
  • Arsenic—used in rat poison
  • Benzene—found in rubber cement and gasoline
  • Butane—used in lighter fluid
  • Cadmium—active component in battery acid
  • Carbon monoxide—released in car exhaust fumes
  • Formaldehyde—embalming fluid
  • Hexamine—found in barbeque lighter fluid
  • Lead—used in batteries
  • Naphthalene—an ingredient in mothballs
  • Methanol—a main component in rocket fuel
  • Nicotine—used as an insecticide
  • Tar—material for paving roads
  • Toluene—used to manufacture paint

What is Vaping?

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling aerosol, often referred to as vapor, produced by an e-cigarette (e-cig). E-cigs are battery powered smoking devices that have cartridges filled with a liquid that usually contain nicotine, flavoring, and chemicals. The liquid is heated which creates aerosol that a person inhales. Although a person is actually inhaling aerosol, the tobacco industry has changed that term into vapor, which people tend to think is less harsh and more safe.

Again for the people in the back, E-CIGARETTE AEROSOL IS NOT HARLMESS “WATER VAPOR”. E-cig aerosol that users inhale and exhale contains harmful substances including:

  • Nicotine
  • Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
  • Flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to popcorn lung disease
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Cancer-causing chemicals
  • Heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead

Currently, there is not enough data to determine the long-term impact that e-cig use has on human health due to how new the product is. Are you willing to risk the unknown?

Did You Know?

  • 12% of NC high school students report they smoked cigarettes at least one day during the past 30 days
  • Compared to 9% of all U.S. high school students
  • 22% of NC high school students report they used electronic vapor products at least one day during the past 30 days
  • Compared to 13% of all U.S. high school students
  • About 1,600 young people under 18 smoke their first cigarette every day in the U.S.
  • 3.6 million U.S. middle and high school students use tobacco products
  • Globally, more than 8 million people die from tobacco use each year
  • 1.2 million people die from second-hand smoke each year
  • 65,000 children die each year from illnesses related to second-hand smoke
  • $170 billion is spent each year to treat smoking related diseases in the U.S.
  • There are over 7,000 chemicals in one lit cigarette
  • 69 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer and many are toxic
  • A single JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of 20 regular cigarettes
  • Two-thirds of JUUL users (ages 15-24 years) don’t know that JUUL always contains nicotine
  • E-cigs are not an FDA approved smoking cessation product
  • The legal age to buy vaping/tobacco products in NC is 21

If you or someone you know wants to quit this powerful addiction call QuitlineNC for free cessation services for any North Carolina Resident at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit for more resources.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

John Hopkins Medicine

U.S. Food & Drug Administration

Procter & Gamble

National Institute on Drug Abuse

National Cancer Institute

World Health Organization

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Nemours TeensHealth

American Lung Association

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