What’s The Truth?
It is very understandable that people are worried when it comes to the health and well-being of their children. But is there any truth to the rumours about vaping and children that we might’ve heard? The short answer is ‘no’. But let’s look at these rumours in more detail to find out why.
The most common concerns are the risk of children being harmed by second-hand vapour and the idea that vaping targets children and encourages them to take up smoking.
Research already shows us that vaping isn’t a gateway to smoking. The Royal College of Physicians has released a report which confirms that vaping does not encourage new people to take up cigarettes. So, the idea that vaping leads to children taking up smoking is completely untrue.
If you’ve ever seen a vape advert, visited a vape store or browsed a vaping website you’ll know that vaping isn’t aimed at or advertised to children. The vaping industry does everything it can to discourage children and it is illegal to target any vape related advertisement at children.
On top of all this, the smoking rate in young adults has been declining ever since vaping started to become popular. And surveys show that young adults who vape regularly are the same young adults who already smoke, which shows that smokers are more likely to become vapers, not the other way around.
Younger smokers might be more likely to try vaping than older smokers, but that doesn’t mean that vaping is aimed at children. This is another misconception spread by people who don’t know the facts or just want to badmouth vaping regardless of the reality.
It is also important to consider the effect that vaping has on smoking. Vaping has been proven to almost double the chances of smokers quitting cigarettes for good and so far millions of people have quit with the help of vaping. More people giving up smoking means less children are being exposed to seriously harmful second-hand smoke.
One of the reasons people are concerned about the effect of second-hand vaping on children is the unfair association of smoking with vaping. We know how harmful second-hand smoke can be, so some people are worried that second-hand vapour might be just as harmful.
In the United Kingdom alone around one hundred thousand people die each year as a result of smoking and second-hand smoke is estimated to cause more than ten thousand deaths. This frightening statistic means that 10% of the people who die as a result of smoking related illness are victims of second hand smoke.
Statistics show that the majority of people harmed by second hand smoke are those who live with smokers. Tragically, this means that many children are the victims of second-hand smoke and all the damage it can do.
Thankfully, vaping has been proven to be significantly safer than smoking and that is also true of second-hand vapour.
The vaping process is very different from burning tobacco in a cigarette. Vaping devices produce vapour from e-liquids which contain flavourings and sometimes nicotine. The ingredients used in e-liquids are controlled in the United Kingdom by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to ensure their safety and quality.
When vaped, these e-liquids don’t produce all the harmful chemicals that are found in cigarette smoke and research shows that vaping is around 95% safer than smoking. The main risks associated with vaping concern asthmatics and people with a rare allergy to propylene glycol, one of the ingredients sometimes used in e-liquids.
Breathing in second-hand vapour is a way that children and other non-vapers might be exposed to vaping. We already know that vaping is significantly safer than smoking, with Public Health England stating that vaping is around 95% less harmful than cigarettes. But what about second-hand vapour?
Research has shown the vapour exhaled by vapers only contains a small amount of the chemicals they inhaled. This suggests that second-hand vapour is less harmful than the vapour inhaled during vaping and is significantly less dangerous than second-hand smoke.
However, second-hand vapour may still carry some small risks, especially around children who are more susceptible to lung irritations. So, while second-hand vapour is significantly safer than second-hand smoke, it is advisable to be considerate, especially when children are concerned.
Nicotine is another concern when it comes to children and second-hand vapour. While not harmful in the same way as other chemicals found in cigarette smoke, nicotine is addictive. Not all e-liquids contain nicotine and the amount of nicotine found in second-hand vapour is minuscule, but it is understandable that people want to avoid exposing children to any amount of nicotine.
At The End Of The Day
The idea that vaping targets children and encourages them to take up smoking has been a common misconception for years. But the reality is completely different to the rumours.
It is illegal to advertise vaping products to children and the vaping industry has put a lot of effort into preventing children from accessing their websites and online stores. Research has also shown that vaping isn’t a gateway that encourages people of any age to take up smoking. In fact, vaping has helped millions of smokers quit for good.
In recent years a lot of research has been done into the health effects of vaping and the results suggests that vaping is much safer than smoking. And second-hand vapour has been shown to be even safer. But there may still be some risks, so it is advisable to be careful when vaping around children.
Public Health England, the Royal College of Physicians and other healthcare organisations are now supporting the fact that vaping is safer and proven to help people quit smoking for good. More people giving up smoking means that less children will suffer as a result of smoking related illnesses developed from second-hand smoke.