Electronic Cigarettes: Exposure to secondhand vapors at a long-term healthcare company

Nicole Harris, Gordon Lee Gillespie, Kermit G. Davis


Introduction: Healthcare workers in long term care settings have limited control over their occupational secondhand exposure to electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Methods: The study aimed to identify the perceived frequency of exposure to exhaled electronic cigarette vapor on healthcare workers within two sites of a long-term healthcare company. An online survey was completed by 149 (out of approximately 500) employees that asked about electronic cigarette personal usage, concerns for exposure, exposure times, and demographic data.

Results: Twelve percent of all survey respondents expressed concerns related to second-hand exposure. Of those exposed, employee estimated exposure time was 2.1 minutes per shift for electronic cigarettes compared to 12.1 minutes per shift for cigarettes/cigars/pipes.

Conclusions: Overall self-reported secondhand exposure to electronic cigarettes and cigarettes/cigars/pipes was low. To determine a definitive exposure level, quantitative sampling can be done related to chemical exposure via passive inhalation of the smoke and vapor cloud for cigarettes and electronic cigarettes, respectively. Education can be provided to healthcare workers and residents in long-term care facilities regarding risk of exposure to secondhand smoke to alleviate employees' concerns with exposure.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v11n2p1

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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