A new study by MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) researchers found that many parents perceive e-cigarettes to be safer than regular cigarettes. Parents who vape were much more likely to vape in their homes and cars with their children present than parents who smoke traditional cigarettes, they concluded.
But it is not safe to vape around your kids.
“The finding that a large majority of parents who use e-cigarettes permit vaping inside homes and cars is an alarming trend,” says Jeremy Drehmer, lead author of the report in this news release about the study.
“We are concerned that parents have been misled by the marketing of vaping products and now believe that the aerosol produced by these products is harmless to children. Pediatric health care providers need to help set the record straight and inform parents that e-cigarette vapour is not safe for children.”
What’s good for a child’s developing lungs is clean, healthy air. And what is coming out of an e-cigarette is not clean, healthy air, according to the American Lung Association:
What’s coming out of an e-cigarette (aerosol) may look different than secondhand smoke from cigarettes, but it’s far from harmless. The Surgeon General warns e-cigarette emissions can contain harmful chemicals, including nicotine and volatile organic compounds. Children are particularly vulnerable because of their developing lungs—and nicotine is always harmful to adolescent brain development.
Jonathan Winickoff, a senior author on the study and a professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, says in the news release that the results are “frightening”:
“It’s where we were with the exposure of children to combusted tobacco 25 years ago. Big tobacco markets e-cigarettes as healthy products without any consideration or warnings about the harms to infants and children. The truth is that all vape products create an invisible plume of nicotine and ultrafine toxic particles that spreads into the air and coats surfaces. Do the American people really want to wait another 25 years to see how this corporate experiment ends?”
So if you must vape, it’s best for your kids if you take it outside.