Scientists Find No Significant Thirdhand Nicotine Exposure From Ecigs
As lawmakers debate whether ecigs should be banned in public places, scientists are busy learning just how vaping impacts public health. Recently, a team of researchers conducted a study to determine whether ecigs reduce third hand nicotine exposure as compared to traditional cigarettes. Third hand exposure consists of nicotine found on surfaces in the home. For instance, a smoker’s home is usually coated in nicotine and carcinogenic compounds so even if a person doesn’t smoke or inhale someone else’s smoke, they are still exposed to toxins that are lingering the home. The good news is that third hard exposure to nicotine is almost nonexistent when you use electronic cigarettes.
Researchers said that nicotine lingering on surfaces can present a very real health threat. “Nicotine deposited on the surfaces has been shown to react with airborne chemicals leading to formation of carcinogens and contributing to third hand exposure. While prior studies revealed nicotine residues in tobacco smokers’ homes, none have examined the nicotine residue in electronic cigarette users’ homes.”
The scientists studied the homes of 8 ecig users, 6 smokers, and 8 nonsmokers in New York. They took surface wipe samples from walls, floors, and windows and analyzed them in the lab. While nicotine was found in samples from all of the smoker’s homes, detectable levels were only present in half of the ecig user’s homes. Interestingly, trace amounts of nicotine were present in half of the nonsmoker’s homes. The samples from ecig homes had significantly less nicotine than samples from homes where people smoked traditional cigarettes.
The scientists concluded, “Using e-cigarettes indoors leads to significantly less third hand exposure to nicotine compared to smoking tobacco cigarettes.” It seems that all the worry about health risks from public vaping is pointless. With no tobacco and tar, there is no secondhand smoke to put people at risk. And now we also know that third hand toxins are also not posing a problem.
With research like this to prove that vaping is much safer than smoking, why are public health officials still trying to ban ecigs?