One-third of all adults don’t completely understand the risks that come with smoking e-cigarettes around children.
The Surgeon General has released information regarding the development of lung cancer: cigarette smoking is the number one cause, followed by prolonged radon exposure. As a way to prevent lung cancer, e-cigarettes have grown in popularity for their lower nicotine levels compared to traditional cigarettes.
However, they aren’t as safe as originally thought — the Surgeon General has proven that the vapor from e-cigarettes is potent enough to expose children to nicotine and a host of harmful chemicals. But it seems that this knowledge isn’t widely known.
While some researchers suggest that vapor from e-cigs aren’t as potent and powerful as the smoke from tobacco cigarettes, electronic alternatives still release chemicals that can be harmful if ingested over a longer period of time, the CDC explained.
With this information in mind, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted an online survey surrounding the thought process when smoking e-cigs around children. The CDC analyzed data from 4,127 adults over 18 years, and they asked people to consider the potential harms that come with smoking electronic products of all kinds — e-hookahs, hookah pens, vape pens, and e-cigars were all included in the survey.
The results from the survey were shocking. E-cigarette smokers were a staggering 18 times more likely to think the secondhand vapors from their devices weren’t harmful to their children compared to those who don’t smoke. Traditional cigarette smokers were four times as likely to deem the vapor safe, and men were more likely than women to think the fumes were safe.
Additionally, older smokers between the ages of 45 and 64 were more likely to understand the risk that comes with smoking around children. Those between 18 and 24 tended to be more uncertain in their answers.
These CDC findings are quite problematic as they prove that many Americans truly don’t understand the risks that these specific cigarettes bring. Researchers from the study believe that it is more important than ever to raise awareness about these potential harms, especially since they are unable to determine the long-term health effects they cause.
Dr. Alexander Prokhorov, director of the tobacco outreach education program at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX explains to Reuters that scientists know this vapor can be harmful, but the extent of its reach is unknown. He says:
“The products simply have not been in existence long enough to investigate their long-term effects. It took us decades to fully understand the devastating consequences of conventional cigarettes and we are regularly discovering more and more illnesses and disorders attributable to active and passive smoking.”