Scientists know that breathing in second-hand smoke can increase a child’s risk of getting meningitis, a potentially deadly inflammation of the brain. Vape fumes, on the other hand, have no known health effect at all.
In a review of 18 studies, scientists from the University of Nottingham, UK found that exposure to cigarette smoke during the gestation period increased a baby’s chance of getting meningitis or blood poisoning by three times. They also found that children after birth, particularly those older than five, had double the risk of the disease if living in a house with smokers. They estimated it has caused 630 cases of meningitis in under 16-year-olds in the UK annually.
In the U.S., 62% of meningitis cases involving children below one year old occurred in households with a smoker.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the lining of the brain, causing severe headache, vomiting, confusion, agitation, loss of consciousness, and a characteristic purple blotchy rash that does not fade when pressed with a glass. Prompt treatment with multi-spectrum antibiotics is necessary to preserve life. Despite access to medical care, one in 20 will die and one in six will be left with a disability, such as deafness or the need for limb amputation.
E-Cigarettes are 95% Less Harmful Than Smoking
Greensmartliving.com notes that e-cigarettes produce a vapor that has only a tiny fraction of the chemicals present in regular cigarettes. It doesn’t affect air quality or produce readable nicotine levels. None of the reviews conducted on its safety have identified any health risk. Professionals have urged doctors to recommend it to smokers as at least 95% less harmful.
Concerned parents can get a starter kit e-cig package to make their transition from smoking to vaping easier. This can also reduce their child’s chances of contracting meningitis and other serious diseases. E-cigs keep the air at home clean, help ex-smokers with nicotine withdrawal, and allow the pleasure of a puff without the harmful smoke.