Nicotine = Brain Poison


Nicotine is poison for the adolescent brain.

Nicotine changes the way connections form in the brain.

Nicotine can interfere with attention and learning.

Nicotine addiction can happen quickly – the more you use, the more you need to satisfy your cravings.

Nicotine can increase anxiety, mood swings, and irritability.

What’s in a Vape?

  • Nicotine

    The primary drug in tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes and is highly addictive. It rewires your brain, changing the way you think and act.

  • Nicotine Salts

    These lab-engineered compounds were designed to make it easier for your body to absorb nicotine, delivering more nicotine with every hit.

  • Volatile Organic Compounds

    VOCs are gases produced by certain solids and liquids. One VOC is benzene, which is found in car exhaust. Other common VOCs can be found in paint, varnishes and pesticides. At certain levels, VOCs can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches and nausea, and even liver, kidney, or nervous system damage.

  • Heavy Metals

    Including Nickel and Lead, which are carcinogens, these metals can be produced by the heating element, the e-cig housing, or the e-liquid itself. When inhaled, these metals can cause coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, or shortness of breath.

  • Acetone

    Acetone can be found in nail polish remover and paint thinner. Inhaling can lead to headaches, dizziness, confusion, and nausea.

  • Formaldehyde & Acrolein

    These cancer-causing chemicals, commonly used to preserve the dead, can damage your tissue on a molecular level and can even change your DNA.

  • Diacetyl

    Many flavored e-liquids contain diacetyl, a chemical linked to lung disease. It gained notoriety in 2000 when it was found to have caused workers in a microwave popcorn factory to contract "pop corn lung" from breathing in the buttery flavoring. The disease causes scarring to the lung’s tiny air sacs, which narrows the airways. One study found that exposure decreased the number of cells that help keep the airways clear.

  • Propylene Glycol

    Propylene glycol is used to retain water and to keep things moist. The long-term effects of heating and inhaling propylene glycol, however, aren’t well known. But evidence shows that when heated, it can cause eye and throat irritation. It is also the chemical used in smoke machines. 

Is Vaping Dangerous?

E-cigarette aerosol is NOT harmless “water vapor.”

  • It exposes users and bystanders to toxic chemicals that can damage the lungs, the central nervous system and cause cancer.
  • Using nicotine at a young age can impact brain development and make you more susceptible to addiction. A single vape pod can contain as much nicotine as an entire package of cigarettes.
  • Defective e-cigarette batteries have caused some fires and explosions, a few of which have resulted in serious injuries.
  • Doctors have seen thousands of vape-related hospitalizations, including severe breathing problems, pneumonia, and deaths.
  • Disposable vapes, pods and dead batteries that are thrown away, can harm the environment by leaking toxic chemicals into the ground, poisoning everything it touches.


Quitting vaping isn't easy, but you are not alone.

Text START MY QUIT to 36072

My Life My Quit offers a free interactive texting program to help you learn about vaping and get support to quit.

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Missouri Tobacco Quit Services 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) or offers free phone counseling with a Quit Coach to help quit all types of tobacco (cigarettes, e-cigarettes, mods, pods, smokeless products, etc.). Services are 100% confidential and available 24/7.



This free smartphone app is made by former smokers and experts focused on quitting tobacco use. Find tips for quitting, inspiration, and challenges. This app can monitor quitting progress and help manage cravings in a healthier way.


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This program created by the American Lung Association offers self-paced sessions with tools and resources to quit all types of tobacco (cigarettes, e-cigarettes, mods, pods, smokeless products, etc.).


Get daily text messages to support young adults quitting dip.

Text SPIT to 222888.

MO resources

You can always call 2-1-1 for Missouri’s one-stop resources for finding help in your community. If you need help now, text MOSAFE to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or call the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.