It’s increasingly common to see “No Vaping Allowed” signs in restaurants, movie theaters, and shopping malls. Some cities have even voted in official bans on ecigarettes in all places where tobacco smoking is not allowed. Lawmakers justify these decisions by claiming that secondhand vapor could be putting innocent bystanders at risk, but a new study from the Spanish Council of Scientific Research is proving them wrong.
Researchers wanted to find out how harmful ecig vapor might be compared to secondhand smoke so they tested both smoke and vapor for 156 volatile organic compounds. As a baseline, they also tested normal exhaled breath. The cigarette smoke tested positive for 86 compounds, which was no big surprise at all. While not all compounds are toxic, the high number of present substances was definitely concerning. The ecig vapor contained only 17 compounds in one test and 25 compounds in another. But the real shocker came when they tested normal exhaled air and found 42 compounds. The researchers were surprised to find that ecig vapor was actually less harmful than normal human breath.
While there were trace amounts of nicotine present in the vapor, it wasn’t enough to cause any concern. Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos analyzed the data from the study and commented that “the amount of nicotine in the environment is so low that it does not have an effect (not even a biological effect, let alone an adverse effect) on those environmentally-exposed.”
Research like this is exactly what we need to get out there so that people will start to understand that ecigarettes are not the enemy. Vaping isn’t putting bystanders at risk because it is not smoking. There is no combustion, no tobacco, and no tar. Even the levels of exhaled nicotine are so low that they pose no threat.
Do you think lawmakers will ever adjust their policies to allow for public vaping? Will this study make any difference in how people treat vapers?