With the vaping scene expanding a little over a decade ago, the effects of secondhand vapour are not yet fully known. But we do know that it’s better to be safe than sorry, so as a precaution it’s best to avoid vaping around children, pregnant people and those with high-risk health conditions.
WHAT IS SECONDHAND VAPE EXPOSURE?
If you’re new to the world of vaping, you might be asking yourself what is secondhand vape exposure or passive vaping? Simply put, secondhand vape is the vapour you breathe out. As you breathe it out, the vapour then lingers in the air and with this comes a likelihood that anyone around you could inhale your exhaled vapour.
Some people find secondhand vapour quite unpleasant, and some are sensitive to it. If those around you request that you refrain from vaping, you should respect their wishes and find a private place elsewhere. In New Zealand vaping is banned in smoke-free areas including all workplaces, restaurants and bars which are required to be smoke-free and vape-free. This also includes the buildings and grounds of schools, early childhood education and care centres too. Taxis, Ubers, public transport, aircrafts and many beaches are also smoke and vape free.
IS SECONDHAND VAPE BAD FOR YOU?
Epidemiological data obtained over many years is the best way to establish real-world use and impact of a substance, device or medicine, along with the associated risks and benefits.
However, Public Health England’s 2018 evidence review1 found that “to date, there have been no identified health risks of passive vaping to the health of bystanders”.
WHO IS MOST AT RISK WITH SECONDHAND VAPE?
To date, there is little evidence that secondhand vapour is dangerous to others. However, as a precautionary, it is best to avoid vaping around children, babies, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions.
Britain’s National Health Service advises that the amount of nicotine released into the atmosphere is “negligible” and “the limited evidence available suggests that any risk from passive vaping to bystanders is small relative to tobacco cigarettes. But some health professionals have recommended avoiding vaping around pregnant women, babies and children”.
Public Health England suggests that if you have asthma or another respiratory condition, you can be sensitive to a range of environmental irritants like pollen and cold air. Exposure to secondhand vapour can similarly trigger unfavourable respiratory symptoms.
We hope this article has shone a light on what secondhand vape is and the potential effects passive vaping can have on those around you. If you’re vaping, always ensure you’re not vaping around high-risk individuals, preferably staying outside.
If you’re worried about the effects of smoking on your health, the best option is to quit smoking altogether. If you don’t smoke, don’t start smoking.
For those adult tobacco consumers who don’t wish to stop smoking, switching to vaping products is a potentially reduced risk alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes.