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Second Hand Vape: Is It Harmful or Not?

Second Hand Vape: Is It Harmful or Not?


August 01, 2019

"is second hand vape smoke bad?"

A question that has come to the minds of many new vapers. Alternatively, as a current vaper or e-cigarette user, you may newly be wondering if "is it safe to vape around children?". 

Patented in the 1960’s, e cigarettes really did not have the attention as they today. And with that attention, all the hysteria on vaping and it's controversial effects on health, these question arose.

Valid questions considering the media mentions that vaping receives and it's oftentimes comparison to cigarette smoking. While vaping is different than cigarettes, the question still remains.

With more and more banning e-cigarette sales, or vape banned in public places being put into law daily, the impression of vaping and second-hand vape can ultimately be put into the same bucket as cigarette smoking. But is that assumption more damaging than the truth?

What is second hand vapor?

To someone not familiar with e cigarettes the first idea that may spring to mind when seeing the exhale of a vape hit is the word "smoke". But with a little bit of education on the subject of vaping one can quickly learn the mechanics of vape devices and learn that their initial guess was wrong. 

A vape hit emits aerosol, not smoke. 

Cigarettes emit smoke, a product of combustion. Equal to burning any substance with fire. This produces carcinogenic particles including tar, carbon monoxide and other cancer-causing chemicals.

Vape clouds are a product of heating vape juice with a metal coil that is typically housed in an atomizer. This process of vaporizing the e-liquid does not contain any carbon monoxide or tar. 

second hand vape chemicals versus cigs

This can possibly be due to the fact that the base of almost all e juices on the market contains only two ingredients, propylene glycol, and glycerin. Products that are sometimes found in everyday food, cosmetics, and medical prescriptions. While cigarettes have about 7,000 chemicals, with over 60 of them to be known to be cancer-causing.

So does this mean second hand vapor is not dangerous? Let’s look at some studies.

Studies on Vaping and Second Hand Aerosol

Studies such as a 2017 UC San Diego depict a different message than what has been in the headlines. Researchers went into 193 homes to measure fine particles left behind by smokers and vapers living inside the residence. They found no effect on the air quality due to vaping.

Another study by NIOSH, a CDC agency, went directly to the vape cloud source, a vape shop. A place where vape aerosol is constantly being produced by customers. What did they find? Toxic levels below the occupational exposure limits.

And finally, a research article conducted by Igor Burstyn, an expert in the field of toxicology at Drexel University. Research that is commonly used to dispell the ongoing negative media onslaught towards vaping.

Dr. Burstyn and his team found that there was no potential for dangerous contaminants exposure associated with the use of vaping devices such as e-cigarettes. Or at least exposure to the level that it would warranty concerns to one's health. They did note, however, their uncertainty to direct exposure.

research on the danger of vaping and ecigarettes

So, is second hand vape dangerous?

Unfortunately, because vaping is still fairly new and long term studies, for the most part, have not been done to state a certain answer, the question of "is second-hand vape bad?" is for now inconclusive. We are left to trust conflicting studies, all from reliable sources.

The studies mentioned in the articles state second hand vape clouds to be fairly non-destructive to one’s health. Yet, the technology to measure the true health effects on vaping, as well as case studies built from an extended period of research has simply not been conducted in a manner that is universally held to be true. Studies on the benefits of vaping can be found equally as the studies on vaping health risks. 

Meaning a definite yes or no answer to the question of "is second hand smoke dangerous?" has not been determined.

And with the political weight that vaping, vape flavors, and teen vaping have had on the industry, we may never get a trusty worthy statement.

What are your thoughts? Have you decided to change to vaping to possibly not affect the ones around you or in your home?

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