Vape Myths Debunked #2: Second Hand Vape

Vape Myth #2: Second-Hand Vapor From eCigarettes Is Just As Harmful As Second Hand Smoke.


Second-hand tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, 250 of which are known to be harmful and 50 being known carcinogens. Anti-smoking groups are claiming that these same toxins and carcinogens are also present in the vapor exhaled by ecig vapers and can be inhaled by bystanders.

But this is completely false.

As proven by Maciej Goniewicz and his team in the Department of Health Behavior at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York. Goniewicz’s study included 5 men all of whom both smoke and vape. First they were asked to smoke their brand of tobacco cigarettes in an enclosed space for two 5-minute intervals over an hour as they measured the air quality. Afterwards the room was thoroughly cleaned and ventilated then the men were asked to repeat the same test but instead with their ecigarettes.

The results yielded that nicotine levels from ecigarettes measured at around 3.3 micrograms per cubic meter, compared to tobacco smoke, which came to 32 micrograms per cubic meter.

“The exposure to nicotine is lower when compared to exposure from tobacco smoke. And we also know that nicotine is relatively safer when compared to other dangerous toxicants in tobacco smoke,” Goniewicz said.

Another study conducted by Professor Igor Burstyn, working out of Drexel University School of Public Health, also confirmed that chemicals in ecigarettes pose no health threats for users and bystanders. Through reviews of 9,000 observations on the chemical components of vapor and eliquid, Dr. Burstyn was able to conclude that the levels of contaminants ecig users are exposed to were found to be insignificant and way below levels that would pose any health risk to the user or any bystander.

This was the first study funded by The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives (CASAA) Research Fund. CASAA is the leading consumer advocacy group to promote the availability and use of low-risk alternatives to smoking—it is an all-volunteer and donation funded organization.

CASAA Scientific Director, Carl V. Phillips, pointed out the importance of Dr. Burstyn’s research saying that “This study assures us that ecigarettes are as low risk as other smoke-free tobacco and nicotine products, like smokeless tobacco and NRT. All of these products are about 99% less harmful than smoking, and so smokers who switch to them gain basically the same health benefits as if they quit tobacco and nicotine entirely.”

And if that was not enough proof to debunk this myth, ecigarettes also do not create “side-stream smoke” of which tobacco cigarettes are infamous for. Side stream smoke is the line of smoke that comes from a lit cigarette, even when not in use and this smoke lingers in the air and can travel a long distance away from the smoker. 

Ecig vapor does not have this same potential, as the vapor is not produced until the user activates the device and no “side stream vapor” is even produced since it disappears almost immediately after being exhaled. The only thing that is detectable would be the faint smell of the eliquid’s flavor and even that scent too, passes quickly.

Want to hear about other vape myths? Check out our blog Vape Myths Debunked #1: eLiquid Contains Antifreeze >