There’s been a lot in the press over the last year about vaping not being as safe as many people have been led to believe. Part of the problem is that it’s relatively new and no one has any definitive data about long terms health effects.
There’s also a growing debate about whether e-cigarettes are more likely to encourage impressionable youngsters to start smoking and develop an addiction rather than weaning hardened smokers off the real thing. More significantly, there is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that vaping could be at least as harmful to oral health as smoking.
Vaping and mouth cancer
Towards the end of 2016 there were a couple of separate studies which both concluded that vaping damaged cells in the mouth with possibly quite serious consequences ranging from gum disease and tooth loss to cardiovascular complications and even mouth cancer. The results are a particular cause for concern when one considers the take up amongst young people. In 2015, 16 percent of secondary school users reported using e cigarettes as opposed 1.5% in 2011.
Menthol is the most dangerous flavour
The belief that vaping is safer than smoking is largely based on the fact that e-cigarette liquids don’t contain tobacco. Whilst that may be the case they do still contain nicotine and also a range of other chemicals designed to enhance flavour. The research is pointing to these additives causing significant damage to mouth cells. Menthol flavouring appeared to be the worst culprit and in a simulated test researchers found that the vapour killed 53 percent of mouth cells in three days, whereas a normal rate in unexposed cells would be closer to 2%.
Certainly, the findings are a cause of concern for anyone who’s currently vaping and probably labouring under the misapprehension that it’s safer than smoking. If you’re vaping now and are worried about the consequences then make sure you raise it at your next dental checkup or with your GP.