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by Abigail Van Buren

E Cigarettes Harm the Smoker, but Not Secondhand Breather

DEAR ABBY: I work in a small office with two former heavy smokers who have now transitioned to vapor/e-cigarettes. My concern is that they "smoke" their e-cigarettes in the office constantly, and I don't know what chemicals I am now breathing secondhand.

Both of them are senior to me in rank and age, and they pooh-pooh the notion that anything but water vapor is being exhaled. Am I making something out of nothing, or should I be worried about this? -- CLEAN AIR

DEAR CLEAN AIR: You don't have anything to worry about, but your co-workers may. In 2009, the FDA announced the findings from a laboratory analysis that indicated that electronic cigarettes expose users to harmful chemical ingredients, including carcinogens. However, those elements were not detected in exhaled vapor.

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