Secondhand Aerosol

A Health Threat

Electronic smoking devices (or ESDs), which are often called e-cigarettes, heat and vaporize a solution that typically contains nicotine or marijuana The devices are often metal or plastic tubes that contain a cartridge or tank filled with a liquid that is vaporized by a battery-powered heating element. The aerosol is inhaled by the user when they draw on the device, as they would a regular tobacco cigarette, and the user exhales the aerosol into the environment.

It’s important to note these are not one uniform product, but thousands of different chemical cocktails with little requirement for ingredient disclosure or quality control. People breathing in a building or in their job, such as a bartender or musician, should not have to breathe other people’s secondhand e-cigarette emissions. There is no way to know what is in one person’s smoking device vs another’s. People wanting to use ESDs can go outside and away from other people. 

"If you are around somebody who is using e-cigarettes, you are breathing an aerosol of exhaled nicotine, ultra-fine particles, volatile organic compounds, and other toxins." — Dr. Stanton Glantz, Director for the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco.

Not Vapor

Secondhand emissions (incorrectly called vapor by the industry) from ESDs contains nicotine, hazardous ultra-fine particles and toxins known to cause cancer. Water is typically not even an ingredient in these products.

Electronic smoking devices are promoted by the commercial marijuana industry to enable cannabis product consumption inside otherwise smokefree environments. Other people in the building have the right not to breathe the secondhand emissions from these devices. 

Electronic Smoking Devices and Secondhand Aerosol

At least 10 chemicals

identified in ESD aerosol are on California’s Proposition 65 list of carcinogens and reproductive toxins, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.

ESDs contain and emit propylene glycol

a chemical that is used as a base in ESD solution and is one of the primary components in the aerosol emitted by ESDs. Short term exposure causes eye, throat, and airway irritation. Long term inhalation exposure can result in children developing asthma.

ESD aerosol particles

are smaller than 1000 nanometers, which is a similar size to tobacco smoke and diesel engine smoke; the smaller the size of the particle, the deeper it can travel into your lungs.

Protect The Public Health

Make Smokefree Places Aerosol-Free

ANR encourages communities and states to include the use of electronic smoking devices (also known as vaping) in smokefree laws in order to protect the health of workers and the public from the aerosol emitted by these products.

"State and local leaders should take action to address e-cigarette use and exposure to secondhand aerosol by including e-cigarettes into smokefree policies and laws…" — Former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy

ANR's Model Language

Model Ordinance Prohibiting Smoking in All Workplaces and Public Places

 Including E-Cigarettes and Marijuana

Model Ordinance Prohibiting the Sale of Tobacco and Unregulated Nicotine Delivery Products

 By Health Care Institutions

Are you being exposed?

Don't Breathe Secondhand Aerosol