Someone might think that the individual using an e-cigarette or vape is the only person at risk for breathing in nicotine, heavy metals, and cancerous chemicals from the aerosol. That is not true though.
There are two major ways that aerosol from e-cigarettes can spread into the air and affect the health of others.
The first way is through something called secondhand aerosol, similar to secondhand smoke from cigarettes. Common places for exposure to secondhand aerosol include:
and designated smoking areas
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Exposure to secondhand aerosol can lead to cancer, respiratory infections, and make someone’s asthma worse among other problems.
Another way that e-cigarettes/vape pens pose a danger to people other than the user is through thirdhand aerosol.
Thirdhand aerosol is the mixture of chemicals in e-cigarette/vape pen aerosol that remain on surfaces and in dust, even after the aerosol is gone, and can react with other chemicals in the environment to form toxic chemicals.
Watch this 40 second video that explains thirdhand aerosol in more detail.