The evidence that secondhand smoke causes harm is well-known. The harmful chemicals produced when cigarettes burn pollute the air and negatively impact not only the health of smokers, but the health of the people around them as well. The large clouds of aerosol produced by e-cigarettes can look like cigarette smoke, but ASH reports that there is no current evidence of harm to health from secondhand vaping and that “the risks are likely to be very low.”
Secondhand smoke is composed of exhaled mainstream smoke and sidestream smoke, which is emitted from the constantly burning cigarette between user inhalations. This smoke contains the same harmful chemicals inhaled by smokers, including carbon monoxide, arsenic, radioactive chemicals and over 4000 more. Cigarette smoke is a known carcinogen, which means there is no safe level of exposure to it. Because secondhand smoke is so dangerous, concern regarding the idea of secondhand vaping is understandable.
The clouds of vapour produced by vaping devices are composed of exhaled aerosol and a small amount of water vapour naturally produced by the human body. ‘Sidestream’ vapour does not exist because e-liquids are only atomised into aerosol when an e-cigarette is in use. When an e-liquid is atomised, the aerosol produced is composed of fine particulates of its ingredients. At EDGE we only use Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerol, Nicotine and Flavourings in our e-liquid blends, so this is what is in the aerosol produced from our products. There can be some risks associated with the chemicals found in e-cigarette aerosols, however an independent review into the presence of potentially harmful chemicals in our e-liquids found that EDGE vaping products contain 98.81% less harmful compounds than cigarettes*. Exhaled vapour contains even lower levels of chemicals, and especially of nicotine, because certain amounts are absorbed by the vaper while the aerosol is in their lungs. Public Health England have found that e-cigarettes release “negligible levels of nicotine into ambient air with no identified health risks to bystanders.” This means that even if bystanders do breath in exhaled vapour, they are not at risk of becoming addicted to nicotine.
Although current evidence suggests secondhand vaping poses a very low level of risk, the research is ongoing. E-cigarette vapour may have more of an effect on children, pets and individuals suffering from respiratory disorders, so always be aware of those around you when vaping.
With over 5 years within the vaping industry, Ian has amassed a wealth of knowledge that is unparalleled throughout the industry. His knowledge extends beyond e-liquids and devices, but covers safety and compliance as well as best practice and more to name but a few.