1 in 4 U.S. Kids Exposed to Secondhand E-Cigarette Aerosols — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
March 21, 2017

1 in 4 U.S. Kids Exposed to Secondhand E-Cigarette Aerosols

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD

Some 24% of U.S. middle and high school students report recent exposure to the vapors from someone else's electronic cigarettes, according to a research letter in JAMA Pediatrics.

Researchers examined data from nearly 18,000 students who participated in the 2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey. They found that secondhand e-cigarette aerosol exposure was highest among white students (27%) and lowest among black students (15%). Roughly 11% of students reported exposure on 1–2 days in the past month, while 2% reported exposure on all 30 days.

The researchers recommend that pediatric clinicians "incorporate screening for e-cigarette use and [secondhand aerosol] exposure into clinical practice, and counsel parents, youths, and caregivers about the potential harms of [the aerosols] and the importance of avoiding exposure." They note that e-cigarette aerosols can contain potentially dangerous substances, including nicotine, heavy metals, ultrafine particulate, and formaldehyde.

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