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Vaping Devices - infographic

This information has been reviewed and approved by Thomas Ylioja, MSW, PhD and Russell P. Bowler, MD, PhD (June 2020).

Breaking Down Vaping Devices

How Parts Function and Cause Harm


Holds the e-liquid, nearly always contains nicotine. Nicotine harms the developing brain.


Creates the aerosol and may release heavy metals (nickel, tin and lead) that are dangerous to inhale.


Often use nicotine salts (have added acid) to increase nicotine dose and reduce throat hit but may be more addictive.

Computer/ Microprocessor

Activates the battery by pressing a button or inhaling through mouthpiece.

E-liquid or E-Juice

Mix of chemicals and flavoring with nicotine.


Cotton fiber pulls e-liquid toward the heating coil


Lithium ion battery heats the coil. Exploding batteries cause severe burns and injuries.

E-liquid Ingredients NOT Listed on the Package

80+ chemicals including known carcinogens

Nicotine – dangerous and highly addictive chemical, can increase in blood pressure, heart rate, blood flow to the heart and narrowing of the arteries

Fine Particulates – causes nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath, can affect lung function and worsen asthma and heart disease

Volatile organic compounds – causes eye, nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and skin problems are carcinogenic

Propylene glycol (PG) – clear, colorless, oily liquid, used to create artificial smoke/fog

Vegetable glycerin (VG) – considered non-toxic when delivered orally

Flavorings – unregulated for vape products, when heated become carcinogens and cause lung injury

Carbonyls – (including formaldehyde and acetaldehyde) often created when PG and VG are heated