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Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are hand-held devices that heat and aerosolise liquids that commonly consist of propylene glycol, glycerol, chemical flavourants and nicotine (or tetrahydrocannabinol).1 These devices were initially marketed as a lower risk nicotine replacement, but increasing evidence points to the contrary. Even more concerning is that marketing has targeted the vulnerable adolescent population, with 78% of middle school and high school students exposed to at least one e-cigarette advertisement between 2014 and 2016.2 Of interest is how these marketing strategies likely contributed to the misinformation surrounding e-cigarettes. Pepper et al explored adolescents’ understanding of e-cigarettes and found concerning misperceptions about nicotine and e-liquids among participants.3 They found that 62% of non-nicotine vapers and 49% of nicotine vapers thought nicotine in e-liquids was made artificially rather than from tobacco. This could indicate that there is a misperception that some forms of nicotine are safer than others. Additionally, they found that adolescents who believed they were using e-cigarettes without nicotine had poorer overall …
Contributors ALF and LECA co-wrote, edited and approved the manuscript.
Funding LECA’s salary was supported in part by a VA Merit Award (1I01BX004767; PI LCA), NIH NHLBI R01 (HL147326; PI LCA) and TRDRP High Impact Pilot Award grant number (T30IP0965; PI LCA).
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.