Harms of Electronic Smoking Devices

Harms of Electronic Smoking Device Added to Health Education in Ohio Schools

This webpage outlines the requirements for providing health education instruction related to electronic smoking devices, an overview of electronic smoking devices, examples of instructional supports and resources for educators.  

Health Education Requirements 

Ohio law requires school districts to provide instruction on a variety of subjects which includes health education. Health education instruction must include instruction on the harmful effects of and legal restrictions against the use of drugs of abuse, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, including electronic smoking devices. The 134th General Assembly passed legislation which specifically includes electronic smoking devices as a type of tobacco product. The harmful effects of and legal restrictions of electronic smoking devices need to be addressed in health education instruction.  

About Electronic Smoking Devices  

Electronic smoking devices may also be known as: 

  • E-cigarettes or e-cigs; 
  • Vapes or vape pens; 
  • Mods, pods or tanks systems;  
  • JUULs or Puff Bars (or another brand name); and 
  • Electronic nicotine delivery systems or ENDS. 

E-cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes. They may look like regular cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or like pens, USB sticks and other everyday items. 

Most electronic smoking devices have a battery, a heating element and a place to hold a liquid. This liquid may also be called e-liquid or e-juice. The liquid in e-cigarettes usually contains nicotine (which is the addictive drug tobacco products), ultrafine particles, flavorings and other chemicals. E-cigarettes can also be used to deliver marijuana and other drugs.  

E-cigarettes produce an aerosol by heating the liquid inside the device. This aerosol is then inhaled by the user, entering their lungs. E-cigarette use has been linked to lung disease (e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury or EVALI), increased risk of addiction, burns and other potential health and injury risks.  


Listed below are educational programs which contain information on electronic smoking devices. Health education instruction must include information on both the harmful effects of and legal restriction of tobacco, including electronic smoking devices. Not all the programs listed below include information on the legal restriction of electronic smoking devices. (Review Ohio law for additional information on legal restrictions).  

Programs which meet the legislative requirements have been marked with an asterisk.  

CATCH My Breath*
Audience: Grades 5-12 

  • A youth e-cigarette, JUUL, and vape prevention program. The program consists of four 30-minute lessons. 
  • The program is available at no cost, is evidence-based and includes instruction on both the harmful effects of and legal restriction of electronic smoking devices.  

You and Me, Together Vape-Free Curriculum 
Audience: Elementary, Middle and High School  

  • This an educational resource is aimed at preventing students’ use of tobacco and nicotine products.  The middle and high school programs are 6 lessons that are approximately 50 minutes each. The elementary school program is two-lessons that are approximately 50 minutes each. 
  • ​The program is available at no cost. The lessons are theory-based and evidence-informed and were created by the Stanford REACH Lab and include instruction on the harmful effects of electronic smoking devices. 

Vaping: Know the Truth 
Audience: Grades 8-12 

  • An online course with four lessons on the dangers associated with using e-cigarettes and resources to help young people quit if they already vape. 
  • The program is available at no cost and includes instruction on the harmful effects of electronic smoking devices. 

Know the Risks: A Youth Guide to E-cigarettes 
Audience: Ages 11-18 

  • A presentation attended to educate youth on e-cigarettes, including the health risks, the factors that lead to e-cigarette use, and what youth can do to avoid all tobacco products. Estimated presentation time is 45 minutes. 
  • The program is available at no cost and includes instruction on the harmful effects of electronic smoking devices. 

Alternatives to Suspension and Supportive Discipline  

The purpose of alternatives to suspension is to keep students in school and learning. Violations of tobacco policies can be addressed using supportive disciplinary practices, which focus on recovery and reduction of tobacco product use and dependence.  

Intervention for Nicotine Dependence: Education, Prevention, Tobacco and Health (INDEPTH) 

  • This interactive program teaches students about nicotine dependence, establishing healthy alternatives and how to stop the use of tobacco products.  
  • ​This program was developed by the American Lung Association, in partnership with the Prevention Research Center of West Virginia University. The program is available at no cost.  

Healthy Futures 

  • There are two versions of the Healthy Futures curriculum. Both use principles of motivational interviewing and include information on issues related to e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. r information on the health effects of vaping, addiction, messaging, and the cost. 
    • ​MY Healthy Futures is a self-paced course for students to complete on their own in 40-60 minutes. 
    • OUR Healthy Futures is to be taught by an educator, counselor, advisor, or another adult in small group settings.  There is a 2-hour and 4-hour option.   
  • ​This program is created by the Tobacco Prevention Toolkit team at Stanford University School of Medicine. The program is available at no cost. 

Tobacco-Free School Policy

Tobacco-free school policies create safe and healthy environments for students, staff,  families and visitors. Policies protect others from secondhand smoke and aerosol, discourage youth from starting to use tobacco products and ensure that schools provide resources and support to those who use or are addicted to tobacco products. 

The Ohio Department of Health has developed a toolkit and model policy to assist school districts in adopting, communicating and enforcing a tobacco-free policy.

Resources for Educators 


Last Modified: 4/23/2024 4:25:16 PM