Blog Post 1)
All over the country, lawmakers are arguing that vaping should be banned in public areas because they fear it will put people at risk through secondhand exposure. Most recently, Los Angeles joined the campaign to outlaw public vaping, claiming that ecig vapor contains dangerous toxins like lead, nickel, nicotine, and chromium. After doing a little research, we found scientific evidence to refute lawmaker claims. It turns out that the same alleged toxins in secondhand vapor are also found in regular outdoor air and even in human breath.
Lawmakers like to cite studies that identified trace amounts of toxic compounds in e-cig vapor, but more thorough studies have shown that the vapor is not posing any threat at all. For instance, a study by Dr. Igor Burstyn2) examined more than 9,000 clouds of vapor and found no public threat. While there are trace amounts of chemicals present, they are so minor that it couldn’t harm a bystander.
In the case of Los Angeles, the fight to ban e-cigs is almost comical considering the vast amount of research conducted on pollution in their own city. As you might suspect, Los Angeles has a significant amount of air pollution already, thanks to heavy traffic and manufacturing emissions. However, people might be surprised to learn that the human body adds to the air pollution by emitting volatile compounds with each exhaled breath.
One study3) done at Los Angeles universities studied these toxic compounds in human breath and found five specific carcinogens in trace amounts: acetone, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, butanone, and isoprene. While these toxins are lurking in the air everyday, lawmakers argue that e-cigs must be banned because they are exposing the public to these same chemicals. In reality, the very toxins in ecig vapor are going to be found in human breath whether the person is blowing out vapor or simply exhaling.
A second study4) focused specifically on the air quality in LA by testing the air around three elementary schools. Once again, researchers discovered the same alleged toxins in the air, but there were no vapers to blame this time!
With a few minutes of research and a heavy dose of common sense, it’s easy to see that electronic cigarettes are not posing a threat to Los Angeles public health anymore than normal breathing. While vapor does contain small amounts of these toxins, the same can be said for the normal air as well as human breath. It’s time for lawmakers to find a better argument to refute electronic cigarettes. So far, everything they claim can be easily debunked with a little science.
The reality is that electronic cigarettes are not the enemy. Unfortunately, it’s going to take some heavy lobbying from the ecig community to ever expose the lies and show the public that e-cigs are actually helpful. What are your experiences with vaping in public? Do you ever get dirty looks or negative comments from bystanders?