E-cigarettes have taken over the nicotine industry in the past few years. It’s not uncommon to see kids as young as middle school vaping. But while producers of e-cigarettes (AKA JUULs, vape pens, or pens) advertise their products as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes — are they safe for the user and those around them?
What’s in a JUUL?
E-cigarettes use a product called an ‘e-liquid’ — this is what people inhale while vaping. There are many different ingredients that have been found in e-cigarettes, including:
- Nicotine - Addictive substance that can negatively impact adolescent brain development.
- Propylene glycol - Approved as a food additive but isn’t approved as a vapor. Some studies link those exposed to propylene glycol with respiratory irritations and restricted lung functions.
- Diethylene glycol - Toxin used in anti-freeze and has been linked to lung disease.
- Benzene - Volatile organic compound (VOC) found in car exhaust.
- Acetaldehyde - Carcinogen (a chemical known to cause cancer).
- Formaldehyde - Another common carcinogen.
In late 2019, thousands of e-cigarette users were hospitalized after an outbreak of a lung disease known as e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI). An illicit chemical additive, vitamin E acetate, is closely linked to EVALI cases — the chemical has since been more heavily regulated and removed from most e-liquids.
Effects of E-Cigarette Use Indoors
Vaping (the act of smoking from an e-cigarette or similar product) has been advertised as being ‘healthier than smoking’ — but is this true?
How Do E-Cigarettes Work?
E-cigarettes heat the liquid housed in ‘pods’ in order to create an aerosol that is then inhaled. The cloud that is exhaled is typically thought of as water vapor, but in reality, it contains ultrafine particles that are as concentrated as particles found in traditional cigarette smoke. Toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde are formed as the liquid is heated into an aerosol for inhalation.
Are E-Cigarettes Healthier than Traditional Cigarettes?
Long-term research is needed to definitively determine the health effects of e-cigarettes and secondhand exposure, but preliminary data suggests that due to the release of toxic chemicals and particulate matter, e-cigarettes likely have a negative impact on indoor air quality over time. However, they are also proven to release fewer chemicals and toxic matter than the traditional cigarette.
So should you Juul indoors? If you or anyone in your family has asthma or any other respiratory ailment, the safest route is to avoid smoking anything indoors. Since there is still so much that’s unknown about electronic cigarette use, only time will tell.
Helping Your Family Breathe Easier
The average American spends approximately 90% of their lives indoors — protect your air quality and your family’s health by investing in indoor air solutions today! Whether you’re looking for high-efficiency media air cleaners, electronic air cleaners, or humidifiers Sierra Air Inc is your team to call. Contact us online or by phone at (775) 800-5500 to learn more about how we can help you improve your air quality!