Get the facts about how vaping harms your health, nicotine addiction and how to quit

Do you know what you’re vaping?

Vapes are electronic devices designed to deliver vapourised liquids into your lungs when you breathe in.

The liquid in vapes isn't water. The main ingredient in vapes is propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine or glycerol, and almost all vapes contain nicotine, flavours and other chemicals.

Vapes can contain over 200 chemicals known to harm human health, including the same harmful chemicals found in cleaning products, nail polish remover, weed killer and bug spray.


Vaping facts

  • Most vapes contain nicotine making them addictive – you don’t have to vape daily to become addicted
  • The nicotine in 1 vape can = 50 cigarettes. Depending on the size of the vape and nicotine strength, it is often much higher
  • The nicotine in vapes can increase feelings of stress and worsen depression and anxiety
  • The nicotine in vapes can cause changes to brain development, impaired attention, learning and memory
  • Young people who vape are 3 times as likely to take up smoking cigarettes

Does vaping harm your health?

There is evidence to prove that vaping causes harm. These harms include:

  • nicotine addiction
  • nicotine poisoning
  • throat irritation and cough
  • breathlessness
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • nausea
  • lung damage
  • serious burns.

Watch this video to learn how vaping affects the brain:

What support can I access to quit vaping?

It is possible to quit vaping. People are more likely to quit successfully if they have help from a health professional.

See your general practitioner, youth health service, or other health services to help quit vaping.

Visit Vaping – Quit support for practical tips and strategies on how you can manage cravings and quit.

You can also call the Quitline on 13 7848 (13 QUIT). Quitline is a telephone-based service, offering information and advice on how to quit based on your own needs and preferences. You can access the Aboriginal Quitline by calling 13 7848 and asking to speak to an Aboriginal counsellor.

What mental health support is available?

Vaping is associated with mental health conditions, and regular nicotine consumption may worsen stress, depression and anxiety. If you find yourself experiencing any mental health issues at all, free help is available. Here are some of the mental health support services available:

Find more information

Other resources

‘Every vape is a hit to your health’ campaign

NSW Health has launched a new mass media behaviour change campaign aiming to address the issue of vaping by young people. The campaign, ‘Every vape is a hit to your health’ utilises powerful creative to encourage young people to consider the proven health harms of vaping, such as nicotine addiction, lung damage, breathlessness, nicotine poisoning and burns from exploding vapes.

The campaign has been developed by the NSW Cancer Institute in consultation with young people and medical experts, and includes testimonial videos of young people who have experienced the health harms of vaping.

To find out more please visit the Damaging effects of vaping and view the videos on YouTube.​

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

For information, please contact

To order vaping resources, including factsheets, posters and postcards, please complete this  PDF or  document form.​​​

Current as at: Friday 5 July 2024
Contact page owner: Centre for Population Health