E-cigarettes, while less toxic than they’re non-electronic counterparts, are not nearly as harmless as advertised. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found that more than 30% of e-cigarette users don’t think the vapors are harmful. Around 40% of respondents thought the vapors were only a “little” harmful. That means only 20-30% of e-cigarette users are aware of the toxins released when they smoke/vape.
Secondhand vapors from e-cigarettes are not ‘just water’, as initially advertised. The vapors contain multitude of harmful chemicals and metals (including several known carcinogens): nicotine, benzene, diacetyle, lead, nickel, and tin, to name a few. Children, given their small stature and still-developing bodies, are particularly at risk. Exposure to secondhand vapor through e-cigarettes and vape pens can cause mood disorders, accidental nicotine addiction, and poor impulse control.
Why so much confusion and misinformation?
According to Dr. Brian King of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, the newness and lack of regulation are both contributing factors. However, the smoking industry’s promotion of e-cigarettes and vape pens as a “healthier alternative” to the real deal is likely the biggest reason.