◄ back: Vaping Prevention Module
Vaping Prevention Module

Module 1:

What are they?

The tobacco industry has been evolving the idea of an electronic cigarette for decades.
Click through the timeline to see some of the major points in e-cigarette history and the prevention efforts across the country.

Then, take a look at how vape products have evolved, and the dangerous chemicals found inside.

  • 1930

    The first documented reference to an electronic cigarette emerges.

  • 1965

    The first prototype of an e-cigarette is created by Herbert Gilbert.

  • 1979

    The first produced smoke-free device, known as Favor, is sold in America by Advanced Tobacco Products INC. The term “vape” is also introduced to the tobacco language.

  • 1987

    The FDA bans the product Favor and classifies it as a drug because of its intended uses to satisfy nicotine dependence and affect the structure or functions of the human body.

  • 1990s

    Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds patent and produce “heat-not-burn” devices that combines electronic cigarettes and combustible cigarettes. While these products didn’t

    gain a lot of popularity, RJ Reynolds device has been redesigned over the years and is known as IQOS today.

  • 2003

    Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik produces the first generation of e-cigarettes known as the

  • 2004

    While attending Stanford University, James Monsees and Adam Bowen create Ploom, which is now known as JUUL.

  • 2006

    The first generation of e-cigarettes are introduced to the U.S. market.

  • 2008

    The World Health Organization (WHO) publishes a press release stating e-cigarettes are not safe devices and demands tobacco companies to immediately remove false statements of being safe.

  • 2015

    Pax Labs launches JUUL in New York City.

While the electronic cigarette has evolved over the years into a variety of discrete devices, the most commonly used e-cigarette among youth today is known as the vape pod device. Vape pod devices have been designed to look like USBs, highlighters, pens and other school supplies as well as everyday items and food products.

Can you spot the vapes?

How do they work and What’s inside?

There is very little difference between vapes, vape pens, JUULs, Puff Bars and other e-cigarettes. They are all battery powered devices that deliver toxic liquid or e-juice that turns into an aerosol.

Here’s a breakdown on how vapes work:

Lithium Battery


E-Cigarettes use lithium-ion batteries to power the device. These batteries can heat up to 400 degrees, which can cause explosions resulting in life-threatening injuries.

See for yourself here.

Atomizer & Heating Coil


All e-cigarettes contain an atomizer with a heating coil. When the user inhales through the mouthpiece, the battery turns on the atomizer and heating coil to work together to turn the
e-liquid into vapor.



E-Cigarette cartridges or vape pods contain the e-liquid that is turned into aerosol. There are at least 64 different harmful and toxic chemicals found in e-juice.

See for yourself here.

Nicotine Salts


Nicotine Salts

Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is the addictive drug in tobacco products. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found 99% of the vapes sold contained nicotine. While some vape labels do not share that they contain nicotine, others are marketed as containing 0% nicotine when they have actually been found to contain nicotine.

The popular vape product JUUL contains a nicotine salt formula that allows for higher levels of nicotine to be delivered into the body. The founders of JUUL discovered their nicotine salt formula delivered more nicotine into the bloodstream than combustible cigarettes causing users to vomit or their hands to shake.

Now, copycat products like Sourin and Puff Bar use nicotine salt formulas in their products, which is why pod-based vapes contain as much nicotine as up to two packs of cigarettes.

We’ll uncover more about the dangers of nicotine and nicotine salts on the body in module 3.


Over a decade ago, workers in a microwave popcorn factory were sickened by breathing in diacetyl, which is the buttery-flavored chemical found in foods like popcorn, caramel and diary products. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved diacetyl as safe to eat, it is not safe to inhale.

When inhaled, diacetyl causes irreversible lung damage known as bronchiolitis obliterans or “popcorn lung.” While the name popcorn lung might not seem dangerous, it is a very serious lung disease that causes coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

Other Dangerous Chemicals

• Carcinogens – chemicals that are known to cause cancer

• Heavy Metals – at least 6 different types of metals such as nickel, lead, tin

• Propylene Glycol – used to make antifreeze, industrial paint, and artificial smoke in fog machines

• Diethylene Glycol – used to make brake fluid and can cause lung disease

• Formaldehyde – used to preserve dead bodies and can damage lung tissue

• Benzene – deadly chemical found in car exhaust

• Cadmium – found in batteries and causes cadmium poisoning or pneumonia-like symptoms

◄ back: Vaping Prevention Module
 Next: Module 2 ►

Say What! EST. 2011

Home | About | Resources | Events | Speak Up | Login






Toll Free: 877.304.2727

Local: 512.245.8082

Mailing Address

Texas School Safety Center

ATTN: Say What Program

Texas State University

601 University Drive

San Marcos, TX 78666

Say What! was created and designed by young people from across Texas and connects students interested in eliminating tobacco from their schools and communities. The Say What! movement is funded by the Texas Department of State Health Services through a contract with the

Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University.