As the popularity of e-cigarettes continues to rise in the United States, the debate between medical professionals, lawmakers, and the e-cigarette industry grows ever more intense. The use of e-cigarettes has been known to help some tobacco smokers quit smoking, while many studies have also illustrated the dangers of e-cigarette usage by teens and questioned the safety of the chemicals involved.
Because of their smaller size and different body composition than humans, pets are at particular risk when it comes to exposure to e-cigarette liquid and vapors. All pet owners who use e-cigarettes should be concerned and informed about safety when it comes to pets and vaping.
How E-Cigarettes Work
E-cigarettes are essentially nicotine delivery devices. E-cigarettes are designed to look like traditional cigarettes, but instead of burning tobacco, an e-cigarette heats a liquid (composed of nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin, and flavorings) until it vaporizes. The vapor that results is enjoyable to smokers and much less offensive to most people than traditional cigarette smoke.
A typical e-cigarette contains the equivalent of one to two cigarettes’ worth of nicotine, and considering most are purchased in packs of 5 to 100 cartridges, the risks to a pet can rise exponentially. E-juice cartridges also come in a wide variety of scents and flavors, many of which are enticing to pets.
Pets and Vaping: A Dangerous Combination
Nicotine, a key ingredient in e-cigarette liquid and vapor, is highly poisonous to dogs and cats. Inhaling the nicotine and chemical-filled vapor may be unhealthy, but even more dangerous are the small, liquid-filled cartridges of e-juice, which can easily be swallowed or punctured by a pet’s sharp teeth.