Don't Blow It: Anti-Vaping Campaign

Vaping is inhaling and exhaling aerosol which is produced by using an e-cigarette or similar device.

What’s an E-cigarette?

Electronic cigarettes are battery operated devices that people use to simulate smoking. E-cigarettes come in various shapes and sizes and are customizable. An e-cigarette contains four major components: the battery, the atomizer, the tank (also known as a cartridge/pod) and the mouthpiece.

What’s in an E-cigarette?

  • E-cigarettes contain harmful and potentially harmful chemicals, including:
  • Nicotine
  • Flavorings, such as: diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease
  • Heavy metals, such as: nickel, tin, and lead
  • Scientists are still working to understand the health effects and harmful dos es of e-cigarette contents.

What’s the Big Deal about Nicotine?

  • Nicotine is a substance found in most tobacco products.
  • Nicotine is addictive, can harm brain development and can be poisonous. Young people can become addicted to nicotine after just two or three uses.
  • Using nicotine at young ages may make it harder to concentrate, learn, or control impulses.
  • Nicotine can change the young brain, making it more easily addicted to other drugs like meth and cocaine.

What are the Risks of Vaping?

Health Risks

Vaping nicotine has been associated with the following:

  • Seizures
  • Lung disease
  • Attention deficit
  • Weight loss

Brain Risks

The part of the brain that's responsible for decision-making and impulse control is not fully developed until the late 20s. Youth and young adults are uniquely at risk for long-term, long-lasting effects of exposing their developing brains to nicotine. These risks include:

  • Nicotine addiction
  • Mood disorders
  • Permanent lowering of impulse control
  • Nicotine also changes the way synapses are formed, which can harm the parts of the brain that control attention and learning.


Each time a new memory is created, or a new skill is learned, stronger connections – or synapses – are built between brain cells. Young people's brains build synapses faster than adult brains. Because addiction is a form of learning, adolescents can get addicted more easily than adults. The nicotine in e-cigarettes and other tobacco products can also prime the adolescent brain for addiction to other drugs such as cocaine.

Are E-cigarettes Safer than Conventional Cigarettes?

Studies show that youth who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try conventional cigarettes in the future than youth who do not use e-cigarettes. There are no long-term studies to back up claims that the vapor from e-cigarettes is less harmful than conventional smoke.

High School Students Discuss Dangers of Vaping

Don’t Blow It: Anti-vaping campaign – Essentia Health Video Transcript


Text, The Wall Street Journal, "Schools and parents Fight a Juul E-Cigarette Epidemic," CNN, "Vaping Now an Epidemic Among US High Schoolers," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Juuling is the New Teen Vaping Fad Taking over School Bathrooms," The New York Times, "I Can't Stop: Schools Struggle with Vaping Explosion. " Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Tobacco Free Kids dot org. A young woman speaks to classroom.

SPEAKER 1: Recently, the introduction of the electronic cigarette inspired other companies to start marketing their products towards youth like you guys and us. They market them to youth, because then you guys are lifelong buyers. Because once you start that addiction, it's almost impossible or it's really hard to reverse it and to stop using these products. So their goal is to get you guys to want to use these devices when you're this young, because then you're going to be buying their products until you die.

Text, Don't Blow It. Don't Blow Vape, Don't Blow Scholarships. Don't Blow Relationships. Don't Blow Your Athletics. Don't Blow Your Grades, Don't Blow Your Lungs, Don't Blow Your Future, Don't Blow Your Life. Don't Blow It.

[ROCK MUSIC PLAYING]SPEAKER 2: Growing up, I can't even remember a time that I didn't know cigarettes are bad for you. Don't do them. You know? Simplistically, as a kid. So why does that have to be different with e-cigarettes?SPEAKER 3: Most people know that smoking is dumb and stupid, and say they would never smoke, because they see the people that have smoked, and seen what's happened. I almost feel like it's just another repeat cycle, where that almost all needs to happen again. SPEAKER 4: Now I guess it's the re-education that vaping is bad, too. That it contains the same nicotine, the same addictive chemicals that a cigarette would. But it just looks nicer. And so therefore, it seems less intimidating and less harmful.

Cars in a parking lot outside a school building.

SPEAKER 5: There's formaldehyde in--SPEAKER 6: Formaldehyde? SPEAKER 5: So you're breathing that in. SPEAKER 6: What is formaldehyde used for?[INTERPOSING VOICES]Embalming. What's embalming? SPEAKER 5: Preserving bodies. SPEAKER 6: Preserving bodies when you're? SPEAKER 5: Dead.

Text, It's not just "harmless water vapor. " E-cigarettes contain heavy metals, particulates and cancer-causing agents that put adults and children at risk. Toluene, Acetaldehyde, benzene, cadmium, formaldehyde, isoprene, nickel, lead, nicotine, n-nitrosonornicotine

[ROCK MUSIC PLAYING]SPEAKER 7: Inhaling anything but oxygen is obviously not going to be good. SPEAKER 8: I know. In comparison to other things, it might be safer. But any chemicals that are going into your lungs probably isn't--SPEAKER 9: It's like comparing getting hit by a car or getting hit by a motorcycle. You're still getting hit by something.

Text, Nicotine use in early adolescence causes changes in the brain that make life-long addiction much more likely for young e-cigarette users. Ear, eye and throat irritation is common among e-cigarette pen users. The aerosols produced by the chemicals in e-juice enter into the user's lungs unfiltered and leave chemical residue behind. Nicotine is known to have effects on the cardiovascular system. Some recent studies show that acute use of e-cigarettes impaired flow-mediated dilation,. this suggests that e-cigarettes can lead to cardiovascular diseases.

[ROCK MUSIC PLAYING]SPEAKER 10: I've been vaping for a year and a half consecutively. And I have noticed that the addictive presence is definitely there. I've noticed when I don't have it, I notice my mood changes. And my body feels different. And I get sick. And it's not a feeling that I want to have. So I just keep vaping to keep the feeling away, basically. SPEAKER 11: I freak out when I don't have nicotine. Like, I freak out. I started crying and had a panic attack one time when I broke mine. SPEAKER 12: Previously in e-cigarettes, like the cigalikes and whatnot, that we were seeing a very low nicotine concentration. Like, it was just kind of a lower buzz. And with the Jewel products, specifically, they're a lot closer to a cigarette, nicotine-wise.

Four products and ashtrays on the screen. Text, 1 Pack of Cigarettes, 20 mg of nicotine, 20 cigarettes. 1 Juul pod, 41. 3 mg of nicotine, 41 cigarettes, 1 P. H. X. pod, 75 mg. of nicotine, 75 cigarettes, 1 Suorin pod, 90 mg of nicotine, 90 cigarettes

SPEAKER 13: All it takes is one puff, and you already have more nicotine than you would know what to do with. SPEAKER 14: It's super, super strong nicotine. Like just one little hit, you can get super-buzzed. And you'll start, like, hyperventilating and stuff if you rip it too long. SPEAKER 10: I don't really think about what it's doing to my body until it's too late, you know? Until you're sick from it. SPEAKER 5: And there are so many chemicals in there that we haven't learned about, that we don't know about. They put little tiny disclaimers on there about it, because they don't want everybody to know. SPEAKER 15: We're in nursing. And this nursing class, we're all based on empathy, and human compassion, and caring for other people. And when you're looking at the big tobacco companies that are connected to Jewel and all these other vaping things, it's like the empathy is completely gone. SPEAKER 11: I feel like they kind of target at younger kids, just with the different kinds of flavor. Like saying, oh, this will tastes like cotton candy or something. And little kids are, like, going for it.

Text, The tobacco industry has a kids menu. Flavors Hook Kids dot org. Flavors mask the harsh taste of tobacco, making it easier for kids to get hooked on nicotine. The tobacco companies know this. Why flavors? 4 of 5 kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product. Maple Pancakes, 0 calories, 50 servings, Vanilla Cupcake 0 calories, 50 servings

SPEAKER 16: The flavors have just gotten kind of out of hand this point. As you can see here, they have some flavors-- maple pancakes, vanilla cupcakes. You know, bubblegum, grape. Yeah, everything like that. Everything you'd see in pop flavors, candy flavors, things like that, that are really trying to get you guys to buy these. So those kind of mask the harsh taste of tobacco. If you were ever going to smoke an actual cigarette, I can promise you, you would not like the taste at all. SPEAKER 17: And even though the companies deny it, it's kind of obvious they want younger people so that the new generation is still buying the product. SPEAKER 14: At first, there was the peer pressure. But then when you started doing it, you became that peer pressure. I got one of my best friends into doing it on my birthday party. Because he tried it that night, and then after then he just stuck to it. When he doesn't have a vape, he smokes cigarettes. And now, that's kind of on me. And I just-- I feel terrible about it. SPEAKER 16: We've even received a little bit of backlash from people in the school for this project on Snapchat. And that makes it hard, sometimes, when you're trying to be the one that strays away from that. But I promise you, you are doing what's right. And you are the cool person for getting away from that and separating yourself. You don't want to be like everyone else. SPEAKER 18: And you're going to be way cooler at 50 and alive than they are 50 and dead because they used these devices. SPEAKER 17: And being able to breathe on your own and not with a machine that helps you breathe. SPEAKER 11: Now that I've started vaping, it's so hard to exercise or do anything like that. I'm so short of breath. SPEAKER 16: I play football at the high school. And I have a lot of friends on the team that were regularly trying to use these devices during the season. And you know, the players would be actively trying to get them to stop. You know, please don't do this. It's not good. And they would come to practice. And they would admit that their lungs felt hot, tight. You know, they weren't breathing as well. And when it came time to run at the end of the practice, they couldn't really make it through because of that. And I think that's really just a big thing to keep in mind. If it's affecting your body in that way when you're 16, 17, 18 years old or even younger at eight years old, how's it going to be by the time you get to be 40, 50 years old? SPEAKER 19: If you get cut, or you have the initial suspensions, and then for a lot of the people on my team, you just can-- team loses a lot of trust. And sometimes you just-- the team gets used to not having you. And you just never get back into the things like they were before.

Speaks to kids in a classroom

SPEAKER 16: There's been a lot of other incidents with them. Like, they can blow up, catch on fire. A lot of other things like that. I've seen some really gruesome pictures of people who have been smoking them, and they've actually blown up right in front of their face and left serious damage, permanent skin damage to their face. There was one kid in the high school last year. He was sitting in the library doing homework. It was during a lunch period. And it was in his backpack. And all of a sudden, and I'm not kidding, his backpack caught on fire. SPEAKER 14: It's like the vapes become a part of you. It's like you have to have it. Otherwise, you're not going to have a good day. You don't want to talk to people. You're going to be crabby. And that's all you can think about all day, is how am I going to get my nicotine?

Text, FDA: Dozens of seizures reported after vaping, mostly by young people. USA Today

SPEAKER 19: You know, it's just common sense. Like, there's probably chemicals in there that aren't good for you. We know that plastics, when you put them in the microwave and you have food in them, that's not good for you. So why would this heated chemically electronic-looking thing, why would that be good for you? It doesn't make any sense. SPEAKER 20: In like sixth grade, the big thing was Crocs. And before that, it was Heelys. Like, everything just has--SPEAKER 21: I'm sorry, what? SPEAKER 20: And now it's leg bands. SPEAKER 22: [INAUDIBLE] and fidget spinners. SPEAKER 20: Like everything has--SPEAKER 21: Silly bands. SPEAKER 20: --a time before the new--SPEAKER 14: There is no point. There's really no point in doing it except for you're going to ruin your lungs. That's really the only thing that's going to happen. Like, I wish I didn't do it. I wish I didn't start. SPEAKER 23: Don't do something that's like a long life-term investment. It's like, you want to buy a puppy at 14 and take care of that thing for how many years now? No. So why would you want to scar and destroy your body at age 14? Because you only get one, you only get one set of lungs. SPEAKER 24: And I just don't want to be involved with things that can just set me up for failure. I also just don't think it makes you cool. SPEAKER 10: It's embarrassing, really. It's not something to be proud of. It's not cool. I usually go in the bathroom and see people doing it. And it's like-- it's not-- but I do it, too. I'm in the same situation. And I don't think, you know-- when I see other people do it, I'm like, that's disgusting. That's not cool. But then I go and do it myself. And it's like, it makes absolutely no sense. SPEAKER 25: I don't want to be a Guinea pig. SPEAKER 14: It's hard to explain. I just wish I never had that part of my life, because there were some nights where, like, I had such a nic buzz. I just didn't feel good, and I wasn't myself. And then, now, I kind of like-- I still have that feeling, like I want it and I need it. I hate that feeling. SPEAKER 23: Don't even start. It's not something you'll regret in 50 years. It will be something you regret in four years. SPEAKER 26: Like, look, Converse were in. Now we have Vans. Vaping was in. SPEAKER 27: Now it's out. SPEAKER 26: Now we just have air.

Text, Don't Blow It. Don't Blow Vape, Don't Blow Scholarships. Don't Blow Relationships. Don't Blow Your Athletics. Don't Blow Your Grades, Don't Blow Your Lungs, Don't Blow Your Future, Don't Blow Your Life. Don't Blow It. For help text quit to 706-222-Q. U. I. T. Or talk with your school counselor or your doctor.


A special thanks to The Students of Superior High, The Students of Duluth East, The Students of East Central. Presented by Essentia Health. The Essentia Health logo consisting of three leaves in a circle.

Teacher ToolKit

As part of the Don’t Blow It: Anti-vaping Campaign, Essentia has developed a Toolkit that can be used by teachers and community groups to educate students and the general public about the dangers of vaping.

Additional Resources (posters, factsheets, infographics and quitting):

Check Out Our Teacher ToolKit

As part of the Don’t Blow It: Anti-vaping Campaign, Essentia has developed a Toolkit that can be used by teachers and community groups to educate students and the general public about the dangers of vaping.

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