founded 2004 by ron cruger
A place for intelligent writers
A place for intelligent readers
2018 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
Your comments about this column are welcome ~ e-mail Jon at
by Jon Burras
The Dangers of Second-Hand Vaping
Most early mornings of the week you see your fourteen-year-old daughter off on the school bus for her thirty-minute
bus ride to school. She is accompanied by her fellow classmates and this routine is followed again in the afternoon to take her back
home. You have placed total confidence in the school district, the bus driver and the bus to take your precious daughter to and from
school without incident.
Little do you know is that the real danger lies not on the outside of the bus with
possible car accidents or a failed brake system but well within the bus itself. It turns out that many of the teenagers will secretly
take puffs of their multi-flavored vapor devices, often filling the nearby air with toxic residue for all to breathe. Your daughter
is being poisoned by second-hand vaping and you had no idea that this was going on.
Vaping is the new trend
these days especially among "Millenials" and teenagers. Vaping is described as using a propellant device like an aerosol to turn nicotine,
marijuana (THC) and other flavors into a fine mist so that one can get "high" or mildly buzzed from inhaling this mist. These are
also called "e-cigarettes." Many errantly believe that an e-cigarette is a safe and harmless way of easing their tensions and avoiding
the well-documented toxicity of regular cigarette smoking.
The vaping industry has been booming of late.
Many people choose vaping in order to quit smoking cigarettes. They are still getting nicotine into their system without some of the
other side effects. Vaping does not carry the burden of ingesting tar and micro-burnt particles into your lungs. A vaping device is
easier to carry around than a lighter and a pack of cigarettes.
Statistics from 2015 show that over 3 million
middle school and high school students vape regularly. Many of them do this in secret without their parents, teachers or bus drivers
even aware. Vaping supplies are illegally sold and used by minors but this has not stopped them from finding ways to purchase these
There are many known harmful consequences caused by vaping. One could develop a respiratory illness
from the aerosol mist. Cancer causing chemicals are released in the vapor. Nicotine ingestion by itself can have many harmful effects
especially damage to a developing young brain.
"Safer than smoking" does not necessarily mean that it is
safe. This is like saying that driving 150 miles per hour in a car is safer than driving 150 miles per hour on a motorcycle. Vaping
can damage your circulatory system, damage your brain and weaken your immune system making you more susceptible to illnesses. Vape
aerosol can also cause DNA damage. A study in 2015 by John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that toxic heavy metals
like nickel, lead, aluminum and chromium were found leaking from the vaping devices into the bloodstream of the user. Heavy metal
toxicity can cause a range of health problems from cancer, heart disease and brain diseases. Formaldehyde and nitrosamines, which
are linked to cancer, are also present in vaping aerosols. Silicate particles known to cause lung disease are also found in the vaping
Second-hand vaping is equally a growing problem. We used to believe that there was a magical barrier
in airlines and in restaurants between the smoking section and the non-smoking section. How foolish were we to believe in that. Just
like in the case of smoking cigarettes, we magically believe that there is a barrier between one who is vaping and others. This is
not the case. One teenager vaping in the back of a bus might be quietly hidden from the bus driver but might be exposing the entire
bus full of kids to the harmful vapors. The aerosol vapors from a device do not just disappear instantaneously but are casually floating
around looking for an innocent pair of lungs to float into.
A study by Wolfgang Schober of the Bavarian Health
and Food Safety Authority printed in International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health found that e-cigarettes significantly
worsened the air quality in an enclosed room by filling it with heavy metal residue, nicotine and PAH ( polycystic aeromatic hydrocarbon).
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has yet to make any determinations about the health or safety of e-cigarettes. Just as in many
cases, many people believe that the FDA's job is not to protect consumers but to protect profits for corporations. E-cigarettes are
a very big and growing business with many who have invested in them (like tobacco companies). E-cigarettes are tobacco free so are
virtually unregulated. However some cities have banned them from public areas. In its soft approach to regulation the FDA is in the
process of asking e-cigarette manufacturers to submit a plan on how they might limit the sale of their products to minors. This is
like asking the alcohol industry to find a way that minors cannot buy alcohol illegally.
As if parents needed
something else to worry about, now you have it. E-cigarettes carry with them many potential health hazards. Being exposed to second-hand
vaping is just like you took a puff yourself. That happy-go-lucky bus filled with kids singing camp songs might be arriving home each
day from school with a toxic brew building up in their bodies from twice daily trips through poison hell. It just takes one kid in
the back of the bus to expose all of those on the bus. E-cigarettes are not safe to the users and to those around them. While you
might not be the one using the vape device you are still being exposed to it. Maybe it is time to find new friends or ride your bike
1. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg study on heavy metals and vaping
2. Is Second Hand Vaping Safe?
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/e-cigs-and-second-hand-vaping/Wolfgang Schober of the Bavarian
Health and Food Safety Authority