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FAQ: What is vaping and is it safe?

Answers to your most common questions about the outbreak

A mysterious vaping-related illness that has sickened more than 1,000 people and claimed 18 lives has prompted health officials nationwide to advise the public to immediately stop using the electronic cigarettes. Alarmed local, state and national officials are considering strict regulations or outright bans on the devices. The swift backlash has left questions about the safety of vaping. We attempt to answer some of the most common questions about this new technology that has so rapidly become a worldwide cultural phenomenon:

Q: What is vaping?
A: Vaping is the inhalation and exhalation of water vapor mixed with other substances such as nicotine or marijuana oil.

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Why vaping is so addictive, according to doctors

The decline in cigarette smoking is outstanding: An estimated 14% of American adults still smoke cigarettes, but that's down from 20.9% in 2005 and 24.7% in 1995. But as the use of traditional cigarettes slows down, another form of nicotine delivery rises. Hailed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes when they first appeared on the market back in the early 2000s, e-cigarettes (also called vaporizers like the Juul) may not be a stepping stone to quitting for good like many people once thought.

It's true that e-cigarettes don't contain many of the chemicals and substances found in traditional cigarettes (namely, tobacco), but they still contain the extremely addictive substance nicotine, which presents health risks of its own.

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