Learn facts about its safety, FDA recommendations, and laws.

Electronic Cigarettes/Vaping

(electronic nicotine delivery systems)                                                                   

Effective July 29, 2020
NH age for sales of tobacco products increases to 21 years old.

What are they?

  • Known as “vapes”, “vape pens”, “vaporizers”,  “e-cigs” and "mods". Regulated as tobacco products by federal and state law.
  • Battery-powered devices, which heat a chemical solution to a high enough temperature to produce an inhalable aerosol.
  • Older devices may look like traditional cigarettes, others resemble cigars or pipes. Newer devices resemble everyday items, such as; pens, flash drives, medical inhalers or lipstick.
  • Advertised by e-cigarette makers as safer than regular cigarettes, the long-term effects are unknown.

Are they safe?

Since August of 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been investigating cases of individuals hospitalized with E-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI). CDC continues to work closely with FDA, states, public health partners and clinicians on this investigation.  

Additional concerns:

  • Nicotine is a highly addictive substance. Youth use of products containing nicotine in any form, including vapes, is unsafe.
  • Nicotine can harm the developing brain. Our brains and our lungs continue to develop into our early 20’s.
  • Many e-liquids contain ingredients such as: nicotine, propylene glycol, benzoic acid, flavor extract and oil based substances.
  • Flavors in vapes, have not been tested or approved by the FDA for heating, combining with other chemicals and inhaling.
  • Aerosol (vapor) from e-cigarettes may contain fine particles that are respiratory irritants.

Can vaping help people quit smoking?

  • Currently, the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has not classified or approved any e-cigarette as being safe or effective as a smoking cessation product.
  • FDA approved products to quit smoking include: nicotine gum, nicotine skin patches, nicotine lozenges, nicotine oral inhaled products, nicotine nasal spray, and the medicines Zyban and Chantix.

What else do I need to know?

  • July 2019, NH House Bill 511 signed into law. Amended New Hampshire Statute Chapter 126-K, Youth Access to and Use of Tobacco Products. Expanded definitions of devices, e-cigarettes and e-liquid to align with definitions developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Federal Court ruling moved up the required FDA deadline for e-cig product applications to May 2020.
  • August 2016, regulatory authority of FDA extended to cover e-cigarettes through the agency’s “deeming rule”.
  • Under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, FDA can establish product standards and regulate the manufacturing, importing, packaging, labeling, advertising, promotion, sale and distribution of e-cigarettes including components and parts of e-cigarettes.
  • In 2010, NH became one of the first states to prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Breathe NH helped pass this law, House Bill 1541. Read more about the 2010 electronic cigarette policy victory here.

New Hampshire smoking law states that it is unlawful for any person under the age of 21 to use, purchase, attempt to purchase, or possess tobacco products, e-cigarettes, or liquid nicotine.

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