Today we are going to be looking at E-Cigs and second-hand smoking and the potential hazards they each pose but first let’s talk about smoking. Smoking is bad for you and everyone around you. So if vaping is less bad for you, is it also less bad for everyone around you. The nicotine in smokes is highly addictive and causes increased blood pressure, higher cholesterol, and heart disease. Cigarettes yellow your teeth and nails, cause premature wrinkling, and the American Cancer Society estimates about half of the people who start smoking and never quit will die of cancer. But, if despite knowing all this you still choose to smoke, it’s your decision and you know the risks. The problem really arises for people around you who choose not to smoke, and yet they’re going to suffer a lot of the same effects if they breathe in your smoke regularly.
What You Need to Know About E-Cigs
Enter the e-cigarette. The idea is you do away with tobacco and instead have extracted nicotine in water. A heating element vaporizes the water that carries the nicotine into your lungs and you exhale water vapor that’s harmless to the people around you. At least that’s what the advertisements say, but what does the science say? Short answer: It’s less bad but still not great. Yes, it’s true, without the tobacco and tar, the vapor you exhale has a tenth the carcinogens as normal cigarette smoke so second-hand vapor indoors from one e-cigarette is considered no significant risk, while a regular cigarette is.
Potential Hazards of E-Cigs
Still, the vapor can have a negative effect on your immune system. Mice exposed to e-cigarette vapor were more susceptible to bacterial and viral infections because of free radicals in the smoke that damaged cell DNA. There’s a new problem e-cigs have too: because you’re heating a metal tube, the vapor can carry heavy metals. Some of them, like lead or zinc, are in lower levels than you find in normal tobacco smoke. But one heavy metal in the vapor that’s not found in cigarettes is chromium. Chromium comes in a couple different forms based on how easily it bonds with other elements, trivalent chromium [Cr (III)] and hexavalent chromium [Cr (VI)]. Trivalent Chromium isn’t absorbed well by the body so it’s pretty harmless, but hexavalent chromium is a different story. Chronic inhalation can cause lung scarring and lung cancer.. E-cig smokers can choose different cartridges with a range of nicotine levels from none to pretty high. The nicotine will still cause a wealth of cardiovascular problems so that aspect is no better than regular cigarettes.
Hazards of Second Hand Smoking
How much of that nicotine is in second-hand vapor? According to Oxford University, about a tenth as much that’s in tobacco smoke. It’s still present and so the Oxford researchers warn to hold off on vaping near children, pregnant women, or people with cardiovascular conditions until more studies are done. So as of right now, for the most part, it looks like second-hand vapor poses a significantly lower health risk than tobacco smoke. But remember, it took decades of observation and study to realize the effects of passive tobacco smoke inhalation. E-cigarettes have only been on the market since 2007, and to really know what we’re getting into we need to be able to see the effects of the vapor over a person’s lifetime. That’s right, say it with me, more research is needed. E-cigarette smoke is apparently a lot less bad, nice, myth confirmed. We can’t say as much for Hookah smoke though.
The health risks of second-hand vaping if you will I would say are similar to the comparison of vaping versus smoking there’s no question whatsoever that secondhand vaping is much safer than secondhand smoke. There’s no comparison between breathing in the tobacco smoke that you get if you are exposed in an environment where there are some to an environment where people are vaping.