How much do we really know about Vaping?

March 12, 2018


Seems like wherever you are you see someone with an “E-cigarette” or “vaping”. Over 6 million people in the U.S. have either tried or use  e-cigarettes and there are “Vape” shops practically on every corner. There has been a rise in popularity with teenagers and college aged adults. The reasoning behind its popularity is that they don’t leave a distinct smell and come in a variety of flavors. This is becoming a fast growing choice or alternative to smoking cigarettes, and research can not yet show the long term effects to its user.  

With traditional cigarettes and tobacco we think of Nicotine. Nicotine is the addictive agent in tobacco, but is not in itself a carcinogen or cancer causing substance. There are also as many as 7,000 additional chemical additives in traditional cigarettes. Out of those 7,000, 70 of those have been found to be carcinogenic. Now, E-cigarettes burn a liquid which contains nicotine and  flavoring agents and other ingredients. A study done in 2016 found the the flavoring agent in e-cigarettes, particularly menthol, exacerbated the effects of the vapor on oral tissues. It was noted that the damage was comparable to that of smoking tobacco. With more studies being done, it seems to show more and more negative impacts on oral health..

Only until recently has there been more strict regulations on these devices and the liquids. Before the regulations were set, it wasn’t very clear when was in the vape liquids. It was felt that the endless choices in flavors for these devices made it more intriguing to young adults and teens. A study found that in 2016 11% of high school students were current users of e-cigarettes. And, they saw an increase of use by the general population from 1.5% to 16% between 2011 and 2015. In 2016 Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill which “strengthens protections for minors against the sale and use of e-cigarettes and vapor products.” along with this bill, the FDA finally included a rule that extends regulation by the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) to regulate ENDS in the same way other tobacco products are regulated. As of 2018 all liquid must have a  “Nicotine Addictiveness Warning” on their labels and in advertisements.

Overall, much more research needs to be done regarding the safety and efficacy of e-cigarettes. They may contain fewer carcinogens than traditional cigarettes, but much is unknown as this point. There have been few studies done on e-cigarettes and their impact on oral health at this time. As new information is discovered, we will do our best to share that knowledge with you!


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