E-cigarettes and Vaping

Posted on January 18, 2022   |   

This position statement was reviewed by the COPD Foundation COPD Foundation Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee.


It is well-established that smoking traditional combustible tobacco products, including pipes, cigars, and cigarettes carries risk of illness and disease. In recent years, however, new products have become available which also increase risk to the user. These products are electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and are known by several names, such as e-cigarettes, vape pens, and vapes.

While ENDS products have changed slightly over the years, they are fundamentally comprised of a chamber to hold nicotine vaping liquid, a battery, and a heater. Individuals purchase nicotine or synthetic nicotine vaping liquids, add them to the chamber, then the heater warms that liquid until it is aerosolized and able to be inhaled. These liquids are highly addictive and contain more nicotine than a traditional combustible product.1 Additionally, the liquids are often flavored which contributes to their use, especially among young people.2

COPD Foundation Position

ENDS have been promoted as a tobacco cessation tool, but recent studies have shown that people are likely to continue using combustible tobacco products while continuing use of electronic products. This further increases risk and exposure to dangerous substances and can delay the process of quitting tobacco.3 The COPD Foundation does not endorse the use of ENDS for any reason, due to the highly addictive nature of the products and ongoing study of product safety. It should be noted that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of ENDS as a smoking cessation or nicotine replacement therapy. For those interested in quitting tobacco use, the FDA website contains a list of tobacco cessation products that are approved.4


  1. Johns Hopkins Medicine - https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-truths-you-need-to-know-about-vaping
  2. Tobacco-Free Kids Website - https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/what-we-do/us/flavored-tobacco-products Accessed January 10, 2022
  3. Martinez, U. (2021). Targeted smoking cessation for dual users of combustible and electronic cigarettes: A randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Public Health, 6(7). doi:10.1016/s2468-2667(20)30307-8 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(20)30307-8/fulltext
  4. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/want-quit-smoking-fda-approved-products-can-help


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