Underage Vaping/Tobacco Prevention


E-cigarettes, also referred to as vapes, are the most commonly used tobacco product by teens. 

They are electronic devices that heat a liquid and produce an aerosol or mix of small particles in the air. Most are composed of a battery, a heating element and a place to hold liquid. 

Vapes come in a variety of sizes and may be shaped like everyday items, such as a flash drive or pens, sometimes making them difficult to spot. They also come in a large variety of flavors, such as mint or bubble gum, which makes them especially appealing to young people. Many young people who use e-cigarettes don’t even know they contain nicotine. 

Impact of VAPING on health

Though sometimes thought of as a healthier alternative to cigarettes, e-cigarettes come with a variety of health impacts. Research is still new, but it is believed individuals who vape expose themselves to a variety of health risks that won’t be fully understood for years – similar to the history of smoking. Some of the negative side effects already known include: 

  • Increased likelihood of nicotine addition.
  • Effects on memory, mood and attention. 
  • Increased risk of lung disease and worsened symptoms for lung conditions such as asthma. 
  • Increased risk of cancer, high blood pressure and heart attack. 
  • Greater levels of anxiety and depression. 
  • Risk of severe burns and injury from device malfunction.


Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Michigan, and e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product by youth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • 33.1% of Michigan high school students have tried electronic vapor products in their lifetime.
  • 14% of Michigan high school students currently use electronic vapor products. 

The 2021-2022 Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth found: 

  • Of Michigan students who use e-cigarettes, 32.8% reported borrowing them from another person and 20% reported giving someone else money to buy their product.
  • More than 1 in 7 Berrien County teens reported using an e-cigarette in the past 30 days.
  • Annual health care costs in Michigan directly related to smoking are over $4.5 billion.

Resources for help

For information on vaping, e-cigarettes and the severe lung injuries associated with them, visit michigan.gov/ecigarettes. 

Individuals younger than 18 who want to stop using tobacco products, especially e-cigarettes such as JUUL, can text “Start My Quit” to 855.891.9989 or enroll in the My Life, My Quit program.

To talk with someone about any of these resources, please call our Public Health Promotion and Prevention team at 269.927.5622.