A growing number of middle- and high-school students are being exposed to second-hand aerosols from e-cigarettes by living with or being around individuals who are vaping, according to data from a national survey.

Such exposure increased rapidly in 2018 compared to the years 2015-2017, report scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in a research letter in the August 28th edition of JAMA Network Open. The analysis was conducted using data collected by the National Youth Tobacco survey carried out under the auspices of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The survey revealed that about one-third of middle- and high-school students said they were exposed to vaping aerosols in 2018 — an increase by about 30% compared with the previous three years, said Andy S.L. Tan, PhD, MPH, MBBS, of Dana-Farber, the corresponding author of the report. He called the increase in exposure to vaping aerosols “concerning,” given that an array of potentially hazardous chemicals are released by e-cigarettes. Fumes from e-cigarettes contain a variety of chemicals including nicotine, heavy metals, aldehydes, glycerin, and flavoring substances. “The majority of studies have concluded that passive exposure may pose a health risk to bystanders, particularly vulnerable populations such as children and teens” Tan said.

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – Science Daily – August 28, 2019.

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