Graduation Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Director of the Honors Program

Lynn Sondag, MFA

First Reader

Kathleen Beebe, PhD, RN

Second Reader

Patricia Harris, PhD, RN


In recent years, different organizations such as the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) have released statements and plans regarding the use of, and possible health risks of electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, mods, vape pens, etc. Data released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse stated that teenagers in grades 8-12 are smoking e-cigarettes but have not smoked cigarettes before. In addition, 66% of those teenagers reported that the liquid they are smoking are “just flavoring” (NIH 2016).

According to the ACS, although electronic cigarettes are “less harmful” than smoking combustible cigarettes, its long-term effects are unknown. However, the CDC claims that use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for teenagers and young adults because the nicotine that is within the liquid is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development (CDC 2018).

There are many different types of electronic cigarettes, from pipes to cigars, to “tank” devices, but they all function similarly. The main components of an e-cigarette include a battery, heating element, and compartment to hold the vape liquid (Bratsis 2018). These parts work together to heat up the e-liquid in order for a person to inhale the vapor or mist into the user’s lungs. E-liquid usually contains nicotine and flavorings, but some brands can also contain marijuana. Therefore, the focus of this paper is to research and study the developmental and physiologic effects of habitual e-cigarette use within teenagers and young adults.

The author of this paper presented a quantitative descriptive research proposal where a survey was distributed to a group of college students who shared their experiences and perceptions about electronic cigarettes in relation to its health consequences.