• Many vapes contain nicotine making them addictive.
  • Vapes can contain many harmful chemicals - they just don’t put it on the pack.
  • Vape aerosol is not water vapour.

Do you know what you’re vaping?

Vapes are not water. The main ingredient in vapes is propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine or glycerol. Vapes can contain the same harmful chemicals found in cleaning products, nail polish remover, weed killer and bug spray. They just don't put it on the pack.

Vapes come in a number of flavours such as blueberry or bubble-gum that make them appealing. Many vapes also contain nicotine, the same highly addictive substance found in tobacco cigarettes.

Testing has shown that vapes labelled 'nicotine-free' can have high nicotine levels. People can think they are using nicotine-free vapes and can unknowingly quickly develop a nicotine addiction.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)


Vaping facts

  • Many vapes contain nicotine making them addictive
  • Vapes can contain the same harmful chemicals found in cleaning products, nail polish remover, weed killer and bug spray
  • Vapes can leave young people at increased risk of depression and anxiety
  • The nicotine in 1 vape can = 50 cigarettes. Depending on the size of the vape and nicotine strength, it can be much higher
  • Young people who vape are 3 times as likely to take up smoking cigarettes
  • Vape aerosol is not water vapour
  • Vaping has been linked to lung disease.
  • Vapes can cause long-lasting damaging effects on the brain and physical development.

Download vaping fact sheet as a PDF

Video: Respect your brain - Vaping

Watch this video to learn how vaping affects the brain. Vapes can contain over 200 chemicals. In the short-term, vaping can cause damage to the lungs and throat, and lead to nicotine overdose.

Exposing young brains to nicotine early can wire your brain to be more addicted to substances into adulthood.

For more information on the developing brain and vapi​ng read the Respect your brain fact sheet, or visit the Respect your Brain​​ website.

Support to quit vaping

  • Young people should see their General Practitioner, youth health service, or other health services for help to quit vaping.
  • Quitline counsellors are available to answer any questions about vapes on 13 7848 (13 QUIT). Quitline is a telephone-based service offering information and advice. Quitline counsellors provide tips and strategies, and help people to plan their quit attempts, based on their own needs and preferences. They can also help parents and carers think of ways to approach a conversation about vaping with young people.
  • The Aboriginal Quitline is also available on 13 7848. Run by Aboriginal counsellors, the Aboriginal Quitline is a telephone-based confidential advice and support service.
  • If you require assistance in a language other than English, Quitline has counsellors who speak Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin and Vietnamese. You can ask to speak to one of these counsellors. For people who prefer to speak in a different language, Quitline uses the Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS).
  • The Cancer Institute NSW iCanQuit website provides information on quitting methods, links to support groups and top tips to help young people quit.
  • Too much nicotine from vapes can cause nicotine poisoning. If you think someone has been poisoned by liquid nicotine, please call the Poisons Centre on 13 11 26 immediately or 000 if it is an emergency. For more information see NSW Poisons Information Centre.

Find more information​

Other resources

 For information, please contact MOH-Ecigs@health.nsw.gov.au

About the campaign

The Do you know what you’re vaping? campaign was developed by NSW Health in consultation with young people, parents, creative partners, education partners and healthcare organisations. Toolkit resources have been developed in partnership with Cancer Council NSW and the NSW Department of Education.

The campaign and resources are underpinned by evidence. For more information about the evidence for the campaign and toolkit resources read the Vaping evidence summary.

For more information about the campaign visit the Cancer Institute.

Download all campaign assets

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

Current as at: Tuesday 28 November 2023
Contact page owner: Centre for Population Health