Skip to main content
Cat in window of smoky room

Should I vape near my pet?

Q: Our son vapes in his bedroom. Is it okay for him to use his e-cigarette when our dog Smoky is in his room?

A: No. E-cigarettes are electronic smoking devices, or ESDs, which heat, vaporize and emit numerous harmful chemicals that expose pets and people to substantial risk. If your son must vape, he should do it outdoors to protect Smoky and the rest of the family from the ESD emissions.

The term "vaping" is a misnomer that implies ESDs emit harmless water vapor, when in fact, they discharge an aerosol filled with toxic chemicals at levels even higher than in tobacco smoke.

Some of these chemicals cause cancer and are reproductive toxins. Carcinogens in the aerosol include nitrosamines, formaldehyde, cadmium, lead and nickel. When an ESD heats propylene glycol, a common ingredient in vaping liquid, it forms propylene oxide, a known carcinogen.

Exhaled ESD aerosol also contains nicotine. Research shows that nonsmoking bystanders absorb the same amount of nicotine whether they are exposed to secondhand ESD aerosol or tobacco smoke. Aerosolized nicotine also adheres to surfaces where it promotes "third-hand" exposure.

ESD aerosol contains higher concentrations of fine and ultrafine particles than tobacco smoke. These tiny particles are inhaled deeper into the lungs than the larger tobacco smoke particles, which increases the risk of developing severe lung disease.

Aerosols also contain flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to lung damage, and volatile organic compounds such as benzene, a poison in automobile exhaust. Moreover, ESD aerosol contains carbonyls and other chemicals that cause heart attacks and other cardiovascular damage.

A study on the behavioral effects of secondhand vaping and smoking on dogs from 2,857 homes found significantly higher excitability and separation-related problems in households where someone vaped.

So, join the many national and international health organizations that recommend ESDs not be used indoors. If your son can't stop vaping, ask him to vape outside and stay away from Smoky when he does.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine in North Carolina. Contact her at vet@askthevet.pet

dog out for walk in nature

After a long winter indoors, most of us...

dog outside chasing ball

Depending on where you live, it may not...

cute dog and cat

Folliculitis is a common infection that...

Advertisement for pet insurance.

More From Figo Blog
Labrador Retriever retrieving a blue frisbee from the yard

One of the best things about owning a dog is...

Cat scratching on a cat post

You may have heard the phrase, “Cats can’t...

Kristin Levine with dog

We recently had the opportunity to interview...

Puppy crate training in progress

There are many tools I utilize when training...

small dog playing with toy

Your dog won’t come up to you and say, “I’m...

Woman with two dogs checking her phone

Technology has changed almost every aspect...

Dog and pet parent listening to music in front of speaker

Whether you’re rocking out to your favorite...

Woman drinking coffee and holding small cat near

On any given day, between 50 and 70 million...