According to Public Health England, e-cigarettes are at least 95% less harmful than cigarettes. However, the relatively new phenomenon of vaping is causing controversy amongst the general public. In 2019, 25% of people in England believed e-cigarettes were just as harmful as smoking, a dramatic rise compared to 7% in 2013. However, these concerns do not correlate with the evidence. To better understand passive vaping and its impact, we have put together a detailed overview to help reduce the fear of second-hand vaping and introduce the practice of vaping politeness. What is Passive Vaping? Second-hand vaping is the act of inhaling vapour from an e-cigarette that has been exhaled from an individual nearby. We refer to this as passive or second-hand vaping because the vapour does not originate from the e-cigarette, as it has already been inhaled by the individual using the device. What Does an E-Cigarette Produce? Misconceptions about passive vaping originated from disturbing data on the impact of second-hand smoke from cigarettes. However, the two elements are entirely different. When smoking a cigarette, tobacco is burned, which produces poisonous chemicals such as Carbon Monoxide and Tar. However, e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, nor do they burn any elements; therefore, they do not produce smoke or the dangerous chemicals associated with smoking. The e-liquid in an e-cigarette commonly contains Vegetable Glycerin and Propylene Glycol, combined with artificial flavours and/or nicotine. Therefore, vapour contains very little substance, with second-hand vapour containing only a fraction of these elements. Is Second-Hand Vaping Harmful? Although e-cigarette vapour lacks Carbon Monoxide and Tar – the most dangerous chemicals in cigarettes – some people continue to worry that passive vaping can cause illnesses linked to nicotine. While nicotine itself is relatively harmless, it is very addictive, so some individuals would still wish to avoid passive vaping entirely. With that said, the UK Government Science and Technology Committee state that it’s challenging to even measure the risks of passive vaping because ‘it is negligible and substantially less than that of conventional cigarettes’. Multiple studies on the topic have concluded that passive vaping poses very little danger. For instance, a study conducted in 2012 found that ‘non-cancer risk analysis revealed “No Significant Risk” of harm to human health for vapour samples from e-liquids’. Similarly, during the cancer risk analysis, it was discovered that ‘no vapour sample from e-liquids… exceeded the risk limit for either children or adults’. Although, it is important to note that e-cigarettes are still relatively new, and therefore, long term studies are still being carried out. Importance of Vaping Politeness In the UK, around three million users chose e-cigarettes as a method to stop smoking in 2019, 50% of which stopped smoking entirely. These findings suggest that vaping is an excellent alternative to smoking cigarettes as it poses far lower health risks for the user. However, there is still etiquette to consider when vaping to ensure those around you feel comfortable. Although many studies have concluded that passive vaping is harmless, it is not as healthy as breathing in fresh air. To practice vaping politeness, consult those around you and ask how they would feel if you vaped. If they demonstrate concern, remove yourself from the group and vape in an isolated area. It’s usually good practice to avoid vaping in large and dense groups of people altogether.