Waushara County Health News
The effects of secondhand aerosol from E-Cigarettes
Last week, the Waushara County Health Department wrote about the newfound dangers of e-cigarette use. This week the Health Department will focus on how e-cigarettes affect nonsmokers.
E-cigarettes are dangerous for users and non-users. In 2014, a study found that aerosol from e-cigarettes did not expose non-smokers to toxic compounds. The study found that it did expose them to nicotine in the air. New research suggests otherwise. Dr. Stanton Glantz said, “If you are around somebody who is using e-cigarettes, you are breathing an aerosol of exhaled nicotine, ultra-fine particles, volatile organic compounds, and other toxins.”
E-cigarette vapor is not water vapor. This is a common misconception because the vape cloud looks like water vapor. In fact, it is a cloud of chemicals. The correct term is an aerosol. The aerosol from e-cigarettes has more particles than cigarette smoke. This makes it dangerous. The aerosol might worsen asthma and constrict arteries which could trigger a heart attack. E-cigarette aerosol has also been linked to lung disease, heart disease, and cancer.
Some of the recent research has been funded by Juul. Juul is a company that makes e-cigarettes. These e-cigarettes look like USB flash drives. Their research says that secondhand exposure to aerosol is less harmful than to smoke. Aerosol from e-cigarettes is still dangerous.
Many cities have outlawed the use of e-cigarettes in public areas. This is similar to the outlawing of cigarettes. Eighteen states have recently banned e-cigarette use in smoke free environments. The city of San Francisco passed an ordinance against Juuling in early July. This cuts off all sales, including online purchases delivered to city addresses, until the products go through FDA reviews.
The Senate is discussing raising the tobacco purchasing age to 21. This would include Juul products. According to Politico, more than a dozen states have already raised the age.
Children (anyone under 18) are affected by the aerosol. The aerosol is so harmful because children are in the process of development. Lung and brain development are harmed by exposure. The FDA reiterates this. For young children, exposure to the aerosol is not the only risk. E-cigarette liquid (e-liquid) is also called vape juice. The vape juice, itself, can also be dangerous. Juul e-liquid comes in pod-form. Other e-liquids come in bottle-form. Many e-liquids do not have childproof caps. Researchers say that these e-liquids pose a huge poisoning risk. According to one research, some bottles contain enough nicotine to kill an entire preschool class.
It is clear that many parents are not aware of the dangers of using e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes only become more dangerous when used around children. A recent study found this to be true. It discovered that only one-quarter of households have rules against using e-cigarettes in the house. Another recent study stated, “adults living with children are more likely to vape than those without.”
Worse, research shows that teens are more likely to start vaping if someone else in the house vapes. Furthermore, the same research shows that teens are more likely to start vaping if their friends start vaping. This starts a vicious cycle were more people start vaping and everybody suffers.
The aerosol from e-cigarettes is not safe. Rather, it is actually very harmful. Parents who vape or Juul in front of their children are also exposing them to dangerous chemicals. These may cause them to develop cancer or worsen ailments like asthma. While more research needs to be conducted to determine the long-term health effects of using e-cigarettes, the research that has been published is alarming.