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Vaping and Secondhand Exposure

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Electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) use, which is also called vaping, has increased considerably in recent years. Although e-cig was initially designed as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes (t-cigs), there has been a high demand for flavored e-cig products among never-smoking adolescents and young adults. As a result, many bystanders are now at the risk of passive exposure to secondhand vaping (SHV) aerosols, which are spilled from the mouth before inhalation and exhaled by an e-cig user, especially in an indoor environment. This chapter summarizes the impacts of e-cigs on indoor air quality, chemical compositions of e-cig aerosols, factors affecting emissions, and associated respiratory and cardiovascular effects. The use of e-cigs in indoor environments leads to high levels of fine and ultrafine particles (UFPs) similar to t-cigs. Concentrations of chemical compounds in e-cig aerosols are generally lower than those in t-cig smoke, but a substantial amount of vaporized propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), nicotine, and toxic substances, such as aldehydes and heavy metals, has been reported. Exposures to e-cig aerosols have biologic effects but only limited studies have focused on adverse respiratory and cardiovascular effects in humans. Nevertheless, the recent outbreak of the e-cig or vaping product use–associated lung injury (EVALI) that has been linked to cannabis products vaping raised serious public health concerns. Long-term studies are needed to better understand the health effects of exposures to e-cigs, especially SHV aerosols.


  • Electronic cigarette
  • Particulate matter
  • Chemical composition
  • Indoor air
  • Health effects

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Correspondence to Yifang Zhu .

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© 2022 Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

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Li, L., Zhu, Y. (2022). Vaping and Secondhand Exposure. In: Zhang, Y., Hopke, P.K., Mandin, C. (eds) Handbook of Indoor Air Quality. Springer, Singapore.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Singapore

  • Print ISBN: 978-981-10-5155-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-981-10-5155-5

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