jean_seberg.jpg

On The ‘Danger’ of Secondhand Vaping

With the anti-tobacco jihadists increasingly turning their attention to e-cigarettes, and, of course the possible dangers of ‘secondhand vaping’, here (from ACSH) is a little, you know, science:

Among the various “concerns” expressed by those who oppose electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), a fear of toxic substances in the vapor emitted by the devices, or exhaled by users (“vapers” as they are known, as opposed to “smokers”) has been raised as an issue. Those who worry about this vapor believe that such emissions would be analogous to second-hand smoke from cigarettes, which has been shown to be toxic, to some extent.

Recently, a new study of the constituents of e-cig vapor has been reported by Prof. Igor Burstyn of the School of Public Health of Drexel University’s Dept. of Environmental and Occupational Health, entitled Peering through the mist: What does the chemistry of contaminants in electronic cigarettes tell us about health risks?

The report’s findings can be summarized thusly:

By reviewing over 9,000 observations about the chemistry of the vapor and the liquid in e-cigarettes, Dr. Burstyn was able to determine that the levels of contaminants e-cigarette users are exposed to are insignificant, far below levels that would pose any health risk. Additionally, there is no health risk to bystanders. Proposals to ban e-cigarettes in places where smoking is banned have been based on concern there is a potential risk to bystanders, but the study shows there is no concern.

That’s not right. There is concern, but it’s based on irrational fears, cult dynamics, the precautionary principle run amok and the desire to boss people around. Science has nothing to do with it.

FWIW, I have a piece on e-cigarettes in the latest National Review

  1. flownover

    Have yet to see of the first death from second hand smoke.

    Even those Gauloise that Jean Seberg smokes better than ANYONE on earth ! Nice pic.

  2. Joseph Paquette

    Actually, it would make a lot more sense, and simplify the laws, to simply ban the public burning of all tobaccoo, and allow anyone to use e-cigarettes.  But that opinion is based on science, so it’s not likely to go anyware. 

  3. Nick Stuart
    Andrew Stuttaford

    That’s not right. Thereisconcern, but it’s based on irrational fears, cult-dynamics, the precautionary principle run amok and the desire to boss people around.  Science has nothing to do with it.

    Cult dynamics is right on target. When people don’t believe in religion, they don’t believe in nothing, they believe in anything.

    Anti-vapists could be considered a sect of Environmentalism.

    Additionally, the Left has a terrifying totalitarian streak that is becoming more and more evident in the ferocity with which it is attempting to enforce its dogmas on the rest of us.

  4. Joseph Stanko

    The whole premise of e-cigarettes is that they deliver nicotine to the user w/o all the carcinogens.  If the level of carcinogens delivered to the actual “vaper” are extremely low, then I’m not in the least bit worried that I’m going to get cancer from inhaling second-hand vapor.

    That said, it does seem to me that if you were in a small enclosed room (such as a bar) surrounded by vapers that you would be exposed to second-hand nicotine.  I understand that I won’t get cancer from it, but is there a chance I could end up addicted to nicotine from second-hand exposure?

  5. Bishop Wash
    raycon and lindacon: It isn’t all emotion.  It is conditioning.  Political correctness is a means of conditioning a people to totalitarianism.  Rodeo clowns, NSA spying and e-cigarettes are tools to ease the transition to the future Stalin of America. · 2 hours ago

    Adam Carolla notices this when comparing smokers to the NRA. People told smokers we need to divide the restaurant into two sections. Smokers said OK. Then we need to move you to the bar. OK. Then to the patio outside the restaurant. OK. Now we need you to move 50 yards down the block. The NRA fights every law and doesn’t give an inch because they know it won’t stop with the first law.

    I enjoy smoke-free restaurants, but it should have been market driven, not by force of law.

  6. Joseph Eagar

    I’ve got to admit, I hate smoking.  It makes me sick and it violates my personal space.  It’s a collectivist social ritual, that goes against everything American conservatives stand for.

    That said, I’ve never seen these e-cigarette things, and I suppose I’m not in a position to judge them.

  7. S. Easley

    I just feel like we are being herded and few are even noticing.

  8. flownover
    Joseph Eagar: I’ve got to admit, I hate smoking.  It makes me sick and it violates my personal space.  It’s a collectivist social ritual, that goes against everything American conservatives stand for.

    That said, I’ve never seen these e-cigarette things, and I suppose I’m not in a position to judge them. · 23 minutes ago

    How does your personal space square with a public space ?

  9. Andrew Stuttaford
    C
    Joseph Stanko:

    That said, it does seem to me that if you were in a small enclosed room (such as a bar) surrounded by vapers that you would be exposed to second-hand nicotine.  I understand that I won’t get cancer from it, but is there a chance I could end up addicted to nicotine from second-hand exposure? · 50 minutes ago

    Very, very low. Nicotine *is*  undoubtedly addictive, but, by itself, not dramatically so. The reason that regular cigarettes are so difficult to quit has to a lot to do with the presence of monoamine oxidase inhibitors in tobacco/tobacco smoke, something that will not be an issue with e-cigarettes. Incidentally, contrary to popular understanding, it’s worth noting that nicotine is not particularly harmful. 

  10. Andrew Stuttaford
    C
    Joseph Eagar: I’ve got to admit, I hate smoking.  It makes me sick and it violates my personal space.  It’s a collectivist social ritual, that goes against everything American conservatives stand for….

    “Collectivist”, now that’s hardline! Even Ayn Rand smoked.  Is smoking any more collectivist than drinking, or for that matter, going out to eat with friends at a restaurant? 

    In terms of your personal space, I take that point, but in an ideal world, the market would be allowed to sort that out, offering smoker-friendly restaurants/bars etc for those that wanted it, and their no smoking equivalents for anyone else.  Needless to say, we do not live in an ideal world. 

  11. Andrew Stuttaford
    C
    Bishop Wash

    … The NRA fights every law and doesn’t give an inch because they know it won’t stop with the first law….

    Exactly. 

  12. Joseph Stanko
    Andrew Stuttaford

    Very, very low. Nicotine *is*  undoubtedly addictive, but, by itself, not dramatically so. The reason that regular cigarettes are so difficult to quit has to a lot to do with the presence of monoamine oxidase inhibitors in tobacco/tobacco smoke, something that will not be an issue with e-cigarettes. Incidentally, contrary to popular understanding, it’s worth noting that nicotine is not particularly harmful.  · 18 minutes ago

    Perhaps addicted was an overstatement.  Put it this way: if everyone else in the room drinks beer, that won’t make me drunk.  If everyone else drinks coffee it won’t keep me up at night.

    If everyone else in the room is vaping will I get a nicotine high?  What are the concentrations of nicotine in second-hand vapor?

  13. wilber forge
    Joseph Eagar: I’ve got to admit, I hate smoking.  It makes me sick and it violates my personal space.  It’s a collectivist social ritual, that goes against everything American conservatives stand for.

    That said, I’ve never seen these e-cigarette things, and I suppose I’m not in a position to judge them. · 3 hours ago

    The Collective Socialist Ritual also includes all those folk that consume sushi (Bait) and vegans that damage their own health with their own self righteous pursuits.

    How does one establish a line between, Collectivist, Communal and or the fact that people do simply share activites together they enjoy ?

    I only smoke Mexican cigs for the Collectivist US Government have made the American brands dangerous.

  14. Ross C

    I would remind ricocheters that the second hand smoke meta-analysis that established its dangers was flawed science in its own right.  None of the individual studies which were carried out could establish a danger which was sufficiently different from the control populations so, in order to establish the causal link the NIH had to combine a number of studies and then lower the confidence interval from 95 to 90%.  This is more or less unheard of (as i understand it) before or since on a public health issue.

    Word of the day…Lysenkoism…

    the manipulation or distortion of the scientific process as a way to reach a predetermined conclusion as dictated by an ideological bias, often related to social or political objectives.

  15. Troy Senik, Ed.
    C
    Joseph Eagar: I’ve got to admit, I hate smoking.  It makes me sick and it violates my personal space.  It’s a collectivist social ritual, that goes against everything American conservatives stand for.

    Don’t make me choose between my cigarettes and my politics, Joseph. I don’t want to be chain-smoking my way through a rewrite of a Russ Feingold book at this time next year.

  16. Dietlbomb

    They will find a way to justify banning e-cigarettes. The nannies can’t stand the sight of them. There was hardly any evidence against second-hand smoke, but the public was easily persuaded because of the smell.

    I, for one, miss the atmosphere of a smoke-filled bar. If the various governments were to legalize smoking in bars again, I doubt most establishments would permit smoking anyway. Patrons have become accustomed to non-smoky air. The culture has changed.

    The world of these men is gone:

    Bing-Crosby-Pipe_lightbox.jpg

    tolkien-smile-pipe.jpg

    Sir_Winston_Churchill.jpg

  17. Andrew Stuttaford
    C
    Joseph Stanko

    If everyone else in the room is vaping will I get a nicotine high?  What are the concentrations of nicotine in second-hand vapor? · 3 hours ag o

    I don’t know the answer to that (about the concentrations of  nicotine in secondhand vapor), although I have seen suggestions that vapers’ vapor dissipates much more quickly than secondhand tobacco smoke. In any event,  I doubt that you’d get much of a high…

  18. Koblog

    And yet, wonder of irrational contradictions, these same anti-tobacconists favor unlimited smoking of marijuana. Some smoke is good, some bad.

  19. Bryan G. Stephens

    The anti-smoking crusade is akin to the anti-drinking one.

    There is now a move to go to .05 for Legal limit.

    It has nothing to do with science, and it is all emotion.

  20. raycon and lindacon

    It isn’t all emotion.  It is conditioning.  Political correctness is a means of conditioning a people to totalitarianism.  Rodeo clowns, NSA spying and e-cigarettes are tools to ease the transition to the future Stalin of America.

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