There are a lot of concerns floating around about e-cigarettes and the dangers that the smoking vapours pose to the health of the smoker (aka the vaper). But what about the health of the vaper’s friends and family members who are potentially inhaling the same smoke, but second-hand? Are the vaping risks equally toxic as those of traditional cigarettes, or are they a worry that we can all send up in white smoke?
Can second-hand e-cigarette smoke harm me or my friends?
E-cigarettes vaporize a liquid nicotine solution that is released into the air in an odourless water vapour that smokers inhale. Some argue that this second hand e-cig smoke can promote an allergic reaction in bystanders, while others argue that this is only a psychosomatic or an imagined reaction to the idea that the smoke is toxic. Regardless, the American Lung Association and American’s for Non-smokers Rights’ say that preliminary studies show that dangerous toxins could be present in the exhaled vapour, affecting both the smokers and the bystanders alike.
Can second-hand e-cigarette smoke affect my children?
E-cig vapour can become a source of irritation or even act as a catalyst for additional stress in your life. Consider how vaping could affect your family if you smoked at home or in your car on a daily basis, driving family members to and from school or work. If vaping arguments will only add to an already stressful home environment, you might consider speaking with a counsellor about tips to improve family relationships, and identifying potential ways to make room for a vaping-free space in your home.
Another major concern about e-cigs is the influence they may have on teens who see this as an easy way to access nicotine. Introducing vaping into your household could unintentionally promote it to your teens as the next “cool” thing, as well as irritate any fragile relationships you may already have with a non-smoking partner.
While you wait for the conclusive verdict to arrive on the effects of e-cigs on your health, it might be wise to take time to deal with relationship challenges that already exist in your life. You wouldn’t want second-hand smoke and second-hand problems to add to your stress, now would you?
By Talya Rotem