Dear Dr. Roach: I am a nonsmoking woman living with a smoker. He smoked cigarettes outside. Now he is vaping, but inside. How dangerous is secondhand vape smoke? I am having a problem finding any information on the subject. Could you please inform me? — H.D.
Answer: You can’t find much because there is little known. It is known that vape “smoke” contains nicotine, and evidence for nicotine exposure can be found in the blood of people who are around those who vape. Other compounds that are released from vaping and can be found in the air include small aerosol particles and volatile organic compounds, although at a lower level than in cigarette smokers.
Until better information is available, I would say that secondhand vape exposure has health concerns, and although they are likely not as bad as secondhand tobacco smoke, the magnitude of the harms are not well known.
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