E-Cigs’ Second-hand Exposure 10 Times Safer Than Tobacco

There is good news for the vaping community: research shows second-hand vapor is 10 times safer than second-hand tobacco smoke.

The results of two studies of second-hand exposure to e-cigarette vapors were recently published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

Yes, while you are enjoying your e-cig, others near you are exposed to nicotine-rich vapor when you exhale. The 64-thousand-dollar question: How dangerous is second-hand nicotine vapor to non-vaping family, friends and the general public?

The 2 Studies

Goniewicz was one of the lead researchers and is a cancer researcher in the Department of Health Behavior at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY.

“E-cigarettes contain variable amounts of nicotine and some traces of toxicants. But very little is known to what extent non-users can be exposed to nicotine and other chemicals in situations when they are present in the same room with users of e-cigarettes,” Goniewicz told the NY Daily News.

He and his colleagues conducted two separate studies. In the first, vapor was generated from an e-cigarette smoking machine in a sterile room. Then, measurements were taken such as amount of nicotine, carbon monoxide and other harmful gases and particulates in the room.

The second study involved five men who were regular smokers of both tobacco cigarettes and e-cigs. Each of the men was asked to smoke his normal brand of e-cigarette for two five-minute intervals over a period of an hour.

During each man’s visit to the room, researchers diligently measured air quality. After each session, the room was sterilized and ventilated, and the experiment was repeated having the men smoke their regular brand of tobacco cigarettes.

The 2 Results

In the first study, nicotine levels measured 2.5 micrograms per cubic meter. In the second study, the number rose to 3.3 micrograms per cubic meter from e-cigarette.

When they compared these two readings to the tobacco cigarette, however, they found 32 micrograms per cubic meter—that’s 10 times the amount as from vaporized nicotine!

Basically, the results show that non-smokers are exposed to 10 times less nicotine from e-cigs than from tobacco cigarettes.

As for particulate matter, tobacco cigarettes have roughly seven times more than e-cigs. Levels of carbon monoxide and other gases in the air were unchanged.

Goniewicz said, “What we found is that non-users of e-cigarettes might be exposed to nicotine but not to many toxicants when they are in close proximity to e-cigarette users.”

Of course, more research is needed in such as what happens in a room with restricted ventilation, for example.

“It is currently very hard to predict what would be the health impact of such exposure,” he added.

What Next?

This study might bring good news for the e-cigarette community. We’ve been taught to hate the word cigarette for so long many people are reluctant to accept e-cigs in a positive light.

More studies will continue to shed light on the many advantages of e-cigarettes.