Secondhand smoke from cigarettes has long been linked to numerous health problems, including severe asthma, respiratory infections and ear infections. Now, health experts are focusing on the impact of secondhand vapor from e-cigarettes.
A new study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, found that one in three students in the U.S. were exposed to secondhand vapor in public places in 2018. In the years prior to the study, exposure was reported by one in four students.
Researchers said that secondhand smoke from e-cigarettes affected 25.2 percent of students in 2015. But the rate climbed to 33.2 percent in 2018 since the number of vape users increased across the country.
The findings come from the analysis of data gathered through the National Youth Tobacco Survey from 2015 to 2018. Researchers focused on middle school and high school students, and their exposure to secondhand smoke from tobacco products and secondhand vapor from e-cigarettes.
The students were asked to report their history of breathing secondhand smoke or vapor in indoor or outdoor public places in the past 30 days. The covered areas include schools, restaurants, stores, sports arenas, parking lots, stadiums and parks.
Researchers said the number of students breathing secondhand vapor increased, but at the same time the government saw more young Americans directly using e-cigarettes.
“This may be owing to the increase in youth using pod-based e-cigarettes and other devices, fewer vape-free policies than smoke-free policies, and fewer people who are willing to speak up against others vaping in public places,” the study states.
Vaping Youth of the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in five high school students and one in 20 middle school students use e-cigarettes across the country. The number of vaping students from both groups increased to 3.6 million in 2018 from 2.1 million in 2017, CNN reported Wednesday.
Direct and secondhand exposure to e-cigarettes smoke may also expose children to tobacco toxicants, according to Theodore Wagener, director of the Center for Tobacco Research and co-leader of cancer control program at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. But he noted vapes contain lower levels of such chemicals.
“We still don’t know the long-term health effects and most people generally think that they’re safer than smoking cigarettes, so they’re not too worried about exposing others to secondhand vapor,” Wagener said.
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Fuente: / Source: www.medicaldaily.com