Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are battery-operated devices that contain a mixture of liquid nicotine and other chemicals. The device heats this mixture, called e-juice, producing a nicotine aerosol that is inhaled. E-cigarettes are also called e-hookahs, e-pipes, vape pens, hookah pens or personal vaporizers.

The 2017 Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey showed the youth tobacco usage rate has increased for the first time since 2000, when the survey first began. This is due, in large part, to the increase in the use of e-cigarettes. One in five youth (19.2 percent) currently use e-cigarettes, according to the survey. That is a 49 percent increase since the survey in 2014.

The rise of market leader JUUL, pictured at left, has spurred a massive increase in e-cigarette use among youth.

It has sparked its own terminology, as using it is called “JUULing.” The JUUL pods are in youth-friendly flavors and provide a doubled dose of nicotine than typical e-cigarettes. This is dangerous, as nicotine is harmful to developing adolescent brains. Nicotine interferes with brain development and can have a long-term effect on mental health. Even brief or intermittent nicotine exposure during adolescence can cause lasting damage. E-cigarette use by youth and young adults increases their risk of using conventional cigarettes in the future.

Some schools have gone as far as banning USB drives as it’s too difficult for teachers to discern between the devices. With that in mind, ANSR has put together a guide to help schools address tobacco use, including the use of electronic cigarettes, on school property. The guide also include tools and resources to adopt and implement a tobacco-free policy.

Download The Guide

Minnesota law prohibits e-cigarette use in public schools, hospitals, clinics and government-owned buildings, including city and county buildings. It also includes licensed daycare facilities during hours of operations. Minnesota law requires e-cigarette liquids and systems to be sold in child-resistant packaging. E-cigarettes can no longer be sold from movable places of business, such as mall kiosks or community events, or in self-service displays. Retailers are required to obtain a tobacco license before selling these products and ensure these products are only sold to those who are 18 years of age or older.

E-cigarettes come in a variety of flavors, such as gummy bear, fruit punch, yogi bear kryptonite, cherry crush and piña colada.

It’s easy for youth to hide e-cigarettes among everyday school products they carry in their backpacks. Download the E-Cig Factsheets and an image showing how easy it is to hide.

Download E-cig Factsheet 1
Download E-cig Factsheet 2
Download Backpack Image