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Parents, vaping near children is just as dangerous as smoking: study

Parents, vaping near children is just as dangerous as smoking: study
Health
The main finding was that “parents who were dual users of cigarettes and e-cigarettes were more likely to have strictly enforced smoke-free policies than vape-free policies for the home, suggesting that some may believe exposure to vaping inside the home is safe for children.”

In Drehmer’s view, the results of the study show that many parents believe these devices contain harmless water vapour, which isn’t the case.

Vaping devices are relatively new. There are several different products on the market, and each contains a different set of chemicals, which is the first cause for concern.

“We’re really in an unknown kind of abyss,” Drehmer said. “Studies have found that [e-cigarettes] have volatile organic compounds in them that are cancer-causing,” but we don’t necessarily know how much of these compounds exists in each product.

E-cigarettes also use aerosol — defined as particles dispersed in air or gas — which contains very small, ultra-fine particles.

“Much like tobacco smoke, these can get in and embed into the lungs, causing inflammation and all sorts of health problems,” said Drehmer.

Another reason e-cigarettes are dangerous is due to a chemical used to produce flavour called diacetyl.

“Diacetyl has been used in things like microwave popcorn, and it’s been linked with something called popcorn lung disease.”

Second-hand smoke can cause several health problems for children, said Drehmer. Developmental delays and an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) are the two biggest concerns.

“Children who grow up in homes where people are smoking around them are much more likely to take up smoking themselves,” Drehmer said.

This could be through modelling — which is when a child mimics a parent’s behaviour — or by way of exposure to nicotine, which could make children predisposed to a nicotine addiction.

Finally, the vapour from an e-cigarette — and all of its harmful chemicals — will remain on surfaces long after the vaping has stopped.

“The nicotine will coat all the surfaces in the home and car, much like cigarettes will,” said Drehmer. “Children can come by and still be exposed.”

Nicotine is a neurotoxic chemical, and it can be highly dangerous for the developing brains of children.

“I think the thing is when people hear the word vapour, they’re thinking safe, and vapour doesn’t necessarily mean safe,” said Drehmer.

Instead, the exact same rules should be applied to vaping that are applied to smoking, he says.

“Avoid smoking in the home or car, even when kids are not present. Rather than vaping indoors, parents should consider using FDA-approved cessation medications instead, such as nicotine patch and gum, that do not expose children to toxic e-cigarette aerosol.”
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