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E-cigarettes or vapes come in all shapes and  sizes. [1]









  • E-cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes.  Some look like regular cigarettes, cigars, or pipes.  Larger e-cigarettes such as tank systems – or “mods” – do not look like other tobacco products.

  • Some e-cigarettes look like other items commonly used by youth, such as pens and watches.  New e-cigarettes shaped like USB flash drives are popular among youth, including JUUL and the PAX Era, which looks like JUUL and delivers marijuana.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that produce an inhaled aerosol. [2]

  • There is no way for users to know what types or concentrations of chemicals or how much nicotine they are inhaling. 

  • E-cigarettes are defined as tobacco products by the FDA and Minnesota law.

  • Studies show e-cigarettes contain nicotine, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and other cancer causing agents. 

  • No amount of nicotine is safe for youth.  It is harmful to brain development. 

  • E-cigarettes long-term impact on the health of users and bystanders is unknown.

  • Studies found that e-cigarettes pollute indoor air, and that exposure to aerosol can make people want to smoke cigarettes. 


E-Cigarettes in Minnesota: [2,3]

  • The most recently released 2019 Minnesota Student Survey (MSS) shows that e-cigarette use continues to escalate among youth.  Among 8th grade students, e-cigarette use nearly doubled from 2016 to 2019, and one in four 11th graders now use e-cigarettes.

  • Many students aren't aware of the dangers of e-cigarette use.  The 2019 MSS also found that 76% of 11th graders say there is either no, slight, or a moderate risk to using e-cigarettes

  • Exposure to ads is related to student e-cigarette use.  According to the 2017 Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey (MYTS), 88% of Minnesota students are exposed to ads promoting e-cigarettes.

  • Almost 40% of high school students have tried e-cigarettes, which come in kid-friendly flavors like gummy bear and cotton candy (2017 MYTS). 

How does Minnesota law treat e-cigarettes? [4]

  • E-cigarettes containing nicotine are taxed as tobacco products and it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes to minors.

  • Retailers must keep them behind the counter or in a locked case and obtain a tobacco license.

  • Child-resistant packaging is required on all e-cigarette liquids, and kiosk sales are prohibited.

  • As of August 1, 2019, e-cigarettes are prohibited from indoor areas where cigarette smoking is already banned throughout the state of Minnesota. 

  • Beginning August 1, 2020, Minnesota will raise the legal sales age to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vapes, from 18 to 21. 


E-cigarettes are not proven to be better for quitting than existing programs. [2]

Talk With Your Teen About E-Cigarettes and other vaping devices.


  • Learn more about the risks of e-cigarettes for youth and access tips for talking to youth using resources under Talk Early, Talk Often as well as the the following resources below:


(Source: MN Department of Health)

(Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

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