Electronic Cigarettes (E-Cigarettes)

Why am I being warned about potential exposure to chemicals in e-cigarettes?

  • E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine and other chemicals that are on the Proposition 65 list because they can cause birth defects and other reproductive harm.
  • Proposition 65 requires businesses to determine if they must provide a warning about significant exposures to listed chemicals.

What are e-cigarettes?

  • E-cigarettes, also known as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), are devices that emit an aerosol containing nicotine and/or other chemicals that is inhaled by users.  They include e‑cigarettes, e‑cigars, e-pipes, e-hookahs, and vape pens.
  • E-cigarettes typically use a battery to heat a liquid solution called an e-liquid, while some e-cigarettes heat solid substances such as nicotine salts.  This produces an aerosol that can be inhaled without burning tobacco.

What chemicals do e-cigarettes contain or generate?

  • E-liquids typically contain nicotine, which is on the Proposition 65 list.
  • When some e-cigarettes are used they can release other chemicals that are on the Proposition 65 list such as cadmium and lead.

How does exposure to chemicals from e-cigarettes occur?

  • During pregnancy, nicotine and other chemicals from e-cigarettes can pass from mother to baby.

How can I reduce my exposure to chemicals from e-cigarettes?

  • Do not use e-cigarettes.  Avoid breathing in air containing e-cigarette aerosol.
  • Do not allow children, including adolescents, to use e-cigarettes, or spend time in places where e-cigarettes are used.
  • Do not use e-cigarettes to quit tobacco smoking.  They are not currently approved by the FDA as an aid to help you quit smoking.  Choose FDA-approved cessation aids to help you quit smoking.
  • Choose venues that are free of e-cigarette use.  In California, the use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, is not allowed in workplaces, public places, restaurants, bars, and state-regulated gambling venues.

For more information:

General Fact Sheets and Resources

Proposition 65

  • California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA)
    Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)
Posted February 2018

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