24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825

Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Kids of Opioid-Using Parents May Be More Likely to Attempt SuicideCholesterol Levels Improving Among U.S. KidsEarlier Bedtimes Help Kids Fight Obesity1 in 5 Kids Don't Strap on Helmets Before BikingParents, Here's How to Protect Your Child During Measles OutbreaksMore Than 600,000 Opioid Abusers Raising Kids in U.S.2 of 3 Parents Read Texts While DrivingFear of Dentist May Start Early for Minority Kids -- With Good ReasonMilitary Tourniquets Might Save Kids' Lives During School ShootingsE-Cigarettes Used in 5% of U.S. Homes With KidsMany Kids With Chronic Illness Are Still Happy: StudyDiet Sodas May Not Help Kids Cut CaloriesAsthma Inhalers Incorrectly Used by Most Kids in StudyNewer Diabetes Drug Shows Promise in Kids, TeensBenlysta Approved for Children With LupusParents, Protect Your Kids as Measles Outbreaks SpreadHow Much Does Your Kid Weigh? Chances Are, You're UnderestimatingFor Kids, Obesity and Mental Health Woes Often Go Hand-in-HandWhy Kids Should Play More Than One SportBetter Food Assistance Programs Might Lower Childhood Obesity RatesMany U.S. Kids Don't Drink Enough Water, and Obesity May Be the ResultStrict Blood Pressure Limits for Kids Tied to Heart Health LaterAlmost Half of Young Asthma Patients Misuse InhalersCan Games and Apps Help Your Kids Learn?Kids Can Get UTIs, TooInactive Lifestyle Begins as Early as Age 7: StudyWhy the HPV Vaccine Is More Important Than EverMore Time Spent in Sports, Faster Healing From ConcussionHow to Cut Your Kids' Sugar IntakeLiving Near Major Roads Can Slow Kids' Development: StudySuicidal Behavior Nearly Doubles Among U.S. KidsTeaching Kids the Importance of an ApologyAHA News: Kids With High Blood Pressure Need Smooth Transition to Adult CarePot During Pregnancy May Raise Child's Psychosis RiskMost Parents Want Age Limits on Football TacklingKids Who Specialize in One Sport Too Early Are Likely to Get Hurt: StudyHealth Tip: Responsibilities of Non-VaccinationThe 1-Parent Family and Kids' Health RisksPesticides Tied to Autism Risk in KidsStrengthening Family Ties Through Online GamingReworked Nasal Flu Vaccine Looks Good for Kids, Pediatricians' Group SaysMore U.S. Teens, Kids Seeking Mental Health Care in ERsAHA News: Overweight Kids at Higher Risk for Blood Clots as AdultsHow to Protect Your Kids From DrowningFewer Boys Are Suffering Head Injuries, But Rate Rises for GirlsWhen Can Kids Return to Play After a Concussion?One-Third of U.S. Kids Have Back Pain, Study SaysMany Parents Think Vaping Around Kids Is FineTime Change Tougher for Kids With Mental Health IssuesLargest Study Ever Finds No Link Between Measles Vaccine, Autism
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)

Many Parents Think Vaping Around Kids Is Fine

HealthDay News
by By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Mar 11th 2019

new article illustration

MONDAY, March 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many parents who smoke try to shield their kids from their unhealthy habit -- but those who vape may not take the same precautions, a new study suggests.

The study surveyed over 700 parents who smoked cigarettes, used e-cigarettes or both. The researchers found that most -- regardless of their product of choice -- had a "strict" smoke-free policy at home.

Yet few e-cigarette users had banned vaping from their homes: Only around one-quarter had done so -- versus 73 percent of parents who only smoked cigarettes.

Altogether, the findings suggest that parents who vape are unaware of the risks to their kids, said senior researcher Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, of Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston.

"We really think parents are being misled by 'Big Tobacco,'" Winickoff said.

E-cigarettes are electronic devices that work by heating a liquid that contains nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. There's no tobacco, but the devices produce an aerosol that sends fine particles and chemicals into the air.

According to Linda Richter, director of policy research and analysis for the New York-based nonprofit Center on Addiction, "The aerosol produced by vaping is by no means 'harmless' water vapor."

Being around the aerosol can irritate the eyes, throat and lungs -- and may worsen asthma or any other respiratory problems a child has, said Richter, who was not involved in the study.

Then there's the nicotine. "Secondhand exposure can result in measurable levels of nicotine in the bloodstream, at levels similar to secondhand exposure to cigarette smoke," Richter said.

For those reasons, she added, the World Health Organization says e-cigarettes should not be used indoors.

That message does not seem to be reaching parents, however.

Winickoff pointed out that "the message on secondhand smoke has been out there for 30 years." In contrast, he noted, e-cigarettes are being marketed as a safer alternative to smoking that will help people quit tobacco.

"The reality is, they're a way of maintaining nicotine addiction," Winickoff said.

It's not clear whether e-cigarette users in this study were trying to quit smoking. But the devices are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for smoking cessation. Winickoff recommended that parents instead try FDA-approved products, such as nicotine patches or gum, or the prescription medication bupropion.

And if you do choose to vape, "never do it in your home or car," Winickoff stressed.

"Infants and children have the right to breathe clean air," he said, "and e-cigarettes interfere with that right."

The findings are based on surveys of 761 parents -- 85 percent of whom smoked only cigarettes. Just under 11 percent both smoked and vaped, while 4.5 percent used only e-cigarettes.

Of the parents who used both products, 64 percent said they had a strict smoke-free home policy, but only 26 percent had a no-vaping policy. Most also allowed vaping in their cars. The pattern was similar among parents who only used e-cigarettes.

In contrast, the majority of traditional cigarette smokers said they'd banned both cigarettes and e-cigarettes from the home, the findings showed.

Besides the potential harm from secondhand exposure to vaping aerosol, there's another concern: Kids learn from their parents' habits.

There's a vaping "epidemic" among teenagers right now, Winickoff said, and if kids see their parents doing it, that will reinforce the notion that it's harmless.

Richter agreed. "One of the main predictors of young people's use of e-cigarettes -- or any addictive substance -- is the example set by their parents and other important people in their lives," she said.

On top of that, Richter added, the devices simply appeal to kids -- with their "child-friendly sweet flavors" and "sleek" designs.

Since most e-cigarette users in this study did keep their homes smoke-free, Richter said, it's clear they cared about their kids' health. They probably were simply unaware that their vaping habit might do harm, too, she said.

"Health professionals and public officials need to do a much better job of educating the public about the harms of e-cigarettes -- to both those who use these products and the people around them," Richter said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on electronic cigarettes.