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Seeing Real Clearly: Secondhand Vapor IS NOT Secondhand Smoke

Should you worry about exposure to second-hand vapor? Vaping and smoking are two different things, although similar actions, the outcomes are vastly different. Vaping has become popular with smokers due to the act being like smoking but that is where the similarity ends. We will discuss the differences between the two, so you can make an educated decision for yourself. What’s in Cigarette Smoke? According to the American Lung Association, there are 600 ingredients in a cigarette that, when burned, become 7,000 chemicals, some of which are poisonous. Cigarette smoke contains carcinogens like carbon monoxide, acetone, ammonia, arsenic, butane, and formaldehyde to name a few. Tar and nicotine are two ingredients that most people associate with cigarette smoke and may be unaware of the rest. Cigarettes must be burned to release these chemicals into the air and are hazardous to the person smoking as well as others in a nearby radius. They have been banned in public places like bars and restaurants for this reason. The dangers of cigarette smoking are well known. What is in Vapor? Vapor, unlike smoke, isn’t created from combustion. It is created by heat when liquid is passed over the heating element. Vapor is essentially water droplets hanging in the air after being exhaled from the mouth or lungs. This vapor does contain nicotine (in smaller concentrations) as well as glycerin, propylene glycol, and flavoring. There is no tar or residue like with cigarettes. There have been studies on the effects of vapor on organic lung tissue with no harmful effect. Because of the worries consumers have concerning second hand vaping, scientists are studying the effects of vapor and its potential for harm. While they cannot say at this point that vaping is 100% safe, many experts do agree that it is much less harmful than cigarette smoke. It is recommended that more studies are needed to determine what the effects will be long-term. Why is it Safer? A 2014 study published in the British Journal of Medicine concluded that “the vapor contains nothing like the concentrations of carcinogens and toxins as cigarette smoke. In fact, toxin concentrations are almost all well below 1/20th that of cigarette smoke.” This means that there are far fewer chemicals in vapor than in cigarette smoke and it does not affect air quality. The nicotine in e-liquid is often less than a traditional cigarette and some have been able to cut it out completely after a period. People who have been able to quit smoking with vaping often reduce their nicotine levels to zero making it even more beneficial. With the evidence we have, vapor and cigarette smoke have nothing in common and are two different substances. More studies are being done to determine the safety factor of vaping long-term. For now, we know that it is much less harmful than smoking, and it is less harmful to those around us.