The hazards of regular tobacco cigarette smoke have been well documented for decades. Secondhand smoke from cigarettes contains deadly chemicals and carcinogens contaminating indoor air. Vaping and electronic cigarettes have hit the market over the past few years in order to provide smokers with a seemingly less dangerous alternative to smoking. But are these alternatives really safer?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a stern warning about vaping and electronic cigarettes at their annual meeting this year in October. The AAP claims that the vapor released from e-cigarettes contains a variety of toxic chemicals, including some carcinogens and significant amounts of nicotine. According to Karen M. Wilson, MD, MPH, FAAP, chair of the AAP Section on Tobacco Control and section head of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at Children’s Hospital Colorado, “Many studies have tested [e-cigarette] vapor, and it is absolutely not harmless water vapor.”
Dr. Wilson warned, “The developing brains of children and teens are particularly vulnerable to nicotine.” In addition to the risk of airborne exposure tochemicals and nicotine through vapor, liquid nicotine is extremely toxic and can even be fatal if swallowed by small children.
Although this warning was issued by a medical group representing infants and children, more warnings are sure to follow by other medical and environmental groups. Recent scientific studies are focusing on the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes and beginning to document their findings. Even though the harmful effects of using these products are coming to light, the use of these products is still on the rise. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration also does not regulate the sale or use of these products.
What does this mean for people that use vaping devices and electronic cigarettes?
Bottom line; you should quit. There is no such thing as a safe level of nicotine and any level of exposure is extremely dangerous to children and pets. Vaping equipment and e-cigarettes still emit dangerous chemicals contaminating your home air. These particles pose a threat to you and everyone else breathing your home’s air.
If you are unable to quit you will need to use your e-cigarettes and vaping equipment outdoors to protect the indoor air quality of your home. Remember that chemicals emitted from these devices will attach to your clothing, skin, and hair. Do not touch children or pets after using these devices.