How do you feel about vaping cannabis around children? I’m (personally) highly opposed to smoking around kids (mainly due to secondhand smoke), but am on the fence about whether vaping around them is actually bad. Are there any studies out there currently testing out whether secondhand vapor can have detrimental effects on little ones (or not)? Or is it more akin to mommy taking an Advil when she has a headache or cramps in front of her kids, or even having a glass of wine with dinner?
— Just Wondering
Dear Just Wondering,
As vaping becomes increasingly popular, you’re not alone in wondering about the etiquette and safety surrounding doing it around others, particularly children. Let's take a look at all things vaping and see where we land.
The first thing you need to decide is if you’re able and willing to explain to curious kids what you’re doing. Kids are perceptive and incredibly observant. If you start vaping around them, they will notice, and they will most likely have questions. How comfortable do you feel explaining what you are doing to them? Also note that there is a difference between your children knowing you use cannabis and watching you do so.
If you’re not comfortable enough to talk to your kids about vaping then you definitely should not be actually doing it in front of them. If, however, you have no problem talking to them about vaping and cannabis, let’s move on.
It’s important to understand that, unfortunately, we don’t have much information when it comes to the effects of secondhand vaping. With regards to health, we do know that secondhand vaping is definitely not as harmful as secondhand smoking. But, because vaping technology is relatively new, as is cannabis legality, we don’t have many solid studies looking at the effects of secondhand vapor, particularly on children. Because of this, I would recommend erring on the side of caution when it comes to vaping around kids.
It’s one thing to smoke or vape around other adults who have the ability to remove themselves from your presence or to ask you to stop. Kids don’t necessarily have that luxury or ability, so that is something to keep in mind.
All that said, we can still definitely make educated choices for our own situations and act as responsibly as possible. If you want to vape around your children, there are a few things you can do to lower the risk factor.
Vape outside. By vaping outside you ensure that there is more space for the vapor to dissipate before reaching your child. That way you can hang with your kiddo outdoors, play a little catch, and enjoy some cannabis all at once!
Use a filter. If you’re going to vape indoors, get yourself a HEPA filter. It will take out every last bit of vapor and can also reduce any smells (though with vaping they are usually minimal to begin with).
Always put safety first. In addition to actually vaping around kids, make sure that both your stash (whether it’s flower or oil) and your vaporizer are stored safely and securely where no little fingers can access them.
With no hard evidence either way, it really does come down to your comfort level regarding vaping in front of your kids. Can you be open about it and explain it? Can you ensure you’re doing everything you can to minimize any potential risk? If so, then vape away!