205 W 5th Ave
Ellensburg, WA 98926-2887
Monday - Friday
8 AM - 5 PM
Kittitas (pronounced 'KITT-i-tass') County is located in central Washington
State. It spans from the lush forested Cascade Mountains to the upper Yakima River Valley plains and
the Columbia River.
Health Educator, 509-962-7515
Quitting smoking and vaping can greatly increase your health and help improve your quality of life. The Kittitas County Public Health Department provides information and resources to the public to increase their ability to pursue healthy lives. This includes education, promotion, and providing resources to help those who want to quit smoking. We also work to prevent youth from starting smoking or vaping and reduce secondhand smoke and vapors in homes and our community.
As of February 18, 2020, a total of 2,807 cases of hospitalizations or deaths due to e-cigarette, or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) have been reported to the CDC in the United States. Learn more on the CDC website. Electronic cigarette/vapor products have skyrocketed in popularity and are being marketed to youth, which is leading another generation into becoming addicted to nicotine.
Electronic smoking devices or e-cigarettes are battery operated devices used to inhale a vaporized liquid solution. These liquids frequently contain nicotine, as well as flavorings and other chemicals. Due to the liquid solution being converted into an aerosol vapor, e-cigarette use is often referred to as "vaping," instead of smoking. While e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, they often contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. The liquid solution that turns to vapor contains ultrafine particles, volatile organic compounds, and flavorings that have been linked to lung disease and include heavy metals like nickel, tin, and lead.
Vapor products are the most commonly used nicotine product by youth. The Food and Drug Administration reported that in 2020, about 20 percent of high school students used e-cigarettes. In Kittitas County, 11% of 10th graders reported using a vapor product in the last 30 days in 2021. See Healthy Youth Survey. Brains continue to develop until approximately age 25 so it is especially important to talk with your children about the risks of using e-cigarettes or other substances that can affect development. Nicotine in e-cigarettes can harm a developing brain by interfering with memory, attention, and learning. Young people who use e-cigarettes are more likely to begin smoking traditional cigarettes.
Beginning January 1, 2020, the legal age to purchase tobacco and vapor products changed to 21 years old. See Washington State Department of Health’s Tobacco 21 page for more information. Individuals under 21 are particularly vulnerable to the effects of nicotine addiction and most people who begin to smoke do so before age 21. For those who vape, there is an increased risk of initiating cigarette smoking.
Smoke-free policies that include e-cigarettes can help reduce secondhand exposure to harmful and potentially harmful substances. Policies also have the potential to reduce the social acceptability of tobacco product use, help promote smoking cessation and support efforts to decrease smoking initiation among youth.
According to the American Lung Association, using e-cigarettes puts your health at risk. E-cigarettes contain and release a variety of potentially toxic substances. Youth who use e-cigarettes are at increased risk for cough, wheezing and an increase in asthma. Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are two ingredients found in e-cigarette liquids and are toxic to cells. Other chemicals found in e-cigarette liquids are known to cause lung disease, as well as cardiovascular (heart) disease.
E-cigarettes have not been proven by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help current smokers quit smoking traditional cigarettes. There are multiple free resources in the State of Washington to help you quit and professionals to help you find the best fit to meet your needs.
Kittitas County has a total area of 2,333 square miles. The highest point in the county is Mount Daniel at 7,959 feet above sea level.