Is Passive Vaping Harmful?


Many people around the world seem to be set against the idea of e-cigarettes and, despite the fact that there are no clear risks associated with vaping, they still do their best to spread doubt about its safety.

While a number of studies have shown that there is very little risk associated with using e-cigarettes, one of the potential risks which is often raised is the concern that second hand vape could be harmful to those in the vaper’s vicinity.

Passive Smoking Danger

second hand smokeWe know already that inhaling second hand cigarette smoke on a regular basis is dangerous. There have been several cases of non-smokers being diagnosed with lung cancer and other smoking related conditions although they have never been smokers themselves. However, many people are now putting vaping in the same category as cigarettes and assume that they will put others at risk of harm just from passive vaping.

Can Second Hand Vapour Harm Others?

There have been several studies into second hand vapour and all of them have revealed no evidence to link passive vaping to a risk to non-vaping bystanders. The current knowledge about the chemistry of aerosols and liquids used in e-cigs indicates that vaping does not produce any contaminants which would warrant a health concern to any non-vaper sharing a space with someone using an e-cigarette.

Evidence From Studies

Nicotine Without Smoke is a publication from the Royal College of Physicians which deals with the issue of second hand vapour quite dismissively. It states clearly that there is no direct evidence to suggest passive exposure can cause any significant harm and this literature is supported by a report released by Public Health England which also found that there was no cause for alarm. This report quotes four different studies which examined the effect of nicotine exposure on passive vapers. The result proved that only a negligible level of nicotine residue on the surfaces of vapers’ homes was found, which was unlikely to cause any health problems. Another study from Imperial Tobacco’s Fontem Ventures shows that e-cigarette vapour dissipates rapidly and therefore breathing it in is unlikely to cause any harm, and, in fact, a Spanish study showed that normal exhaled breath and standard indoor air actually contains more volatile organic compounds than the aerosol from e-cigarettes.

second hand vapourDespite all of these studies showing that there has been no proven risk to health and well-being from second hand vapour, more public spaces and workplaces than ever before are making it illegal to vape on their premises, adding fuel to the fire of concerns over the safety of passive vaping.

Yet overall, the conclusion which can be come to is that there appears to be no cause for concern at all, and vapers can continue to enjoy their e-cigs in the comfort of their own home or in public spaces without worrying about harming the health of their friends, family members and members of the public in general. However, that said, it is still important for vapers to be aware that they should be respectful of non-vapers’ wishes and should avoid cloud chasing in crowded spaces.

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