Where vaping is concerned, I’m convinced that this habit is good old-fashioned cigarette smoking by stealth packaged in a electronic vaporiser. There is no zealot quite like a former smoker and I am one of those, haven taken up cigarette smoking at the age of twelve due to boredom and peer pressure. It took me twenty-two years to successfully kick the habit and I am so glad I did.
Now I see a whole generation of teenagers especially taking up the vaping habit and we should scream in alarm and do our best to prevent them starting this enslaving habit.
We all know the health deterioration that happens with smoking. Evidence is now emerging that is showing vaping is equally as bad for you. I am on a mission to stamp out vaping and stop another generation of young people growing up with an addictive habit that was keenly and greedily marketed to them, leading to a lifetime of ill health and stupid spending on products that harm.
Some Facts and lessons
The first lesson: Don’t be fooled into thinking that what looks like steam is a safe alternative to cigarette smoke.
“You hear ‘vapor’ and you think steam facials or a tea kettle,” Dr. Purnima Kumar, professor at the Ohio State University College of Dentistry , said. “It’s not a vapor. It’s an aerosol, like hairspray or what you use to kill ants and cockroaches. When I teach young kids, I take little cans of hairspray and say, ‘I want you to spray this in your mouth.’
“They say, ‘Ew, no.’ So, I say, ‘Then why would you vape?'”
The warnings about vaping – inhaling the vapor of electronic cigarettes – tend to focus on the potential dangers to the heart and lungs. E-cigarettes may be perceived as safer than traditional cigarettes, but two studies say they are just as dangerous, or even worse, for your heart.
One study found vaping can worsen several heart disease risk factors – cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose levels – at levels equal to traditional cigarettes. A second study found e-cigarettes decrease blood flow in the heart even more than traditional cigarettes.
But an increasing amount of research shows the chemicals in e-cigarettes start to inflict damage right where they enter the body: your mouth.
Because e-cigarettes are a recent phenomenon, said Dr. Crystal Stinson, assistant professor at Texas College of Dentistry, “Studies on their impact are really new. But now we have a solid amount of evidence that shows the link between e-cigarettes and poor oral health.”
Nicotine, whether smoked or vaped, restricts blood flow to the gums, which can contribute to periodontal disease. The fluid in e-cigarettes, which can include propylene glycol, benzene, formaldehyde and other chemicals, only increases the risks.
A study published earlier this year in the journal iScience showed that 43% of people using e-cigarettes had gum disease and oral infections. That figure was higher among smokers – 73% – but only 28% among people who neither smoked nor vaped.
“The oral cavity is really resilient tissue that heals faster than other parts of the body,” Stinson said. “But we also know that when you repeatedly traumatise it, that’s when you end up having issues that are irreversible.”
Those issues, she added, range from inflammation and tooth cavities to loss of bone that anchors teeth to the jaw, called periodontitis, and oral cancer.
That’s the scary endgame – but even at its mildest, it is essential to know the harmful side effects vaping can have on your smile.
- E-liquid allows more cavity-causing bacteria to stick to your teeth and can lead to rampant tooth decay.
- A substance found in e-liquid can result in dry mouth – rapidly increasing the risk of tooth decay cavities, gum disease and other oral health issues.
- Nicotine found in e-liquid increases chances of developing gum disease and tooth loss.
It is a real shame to allow our teenagers to be hoodwinked about the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes so I will do my best to shout loud about the harm they cause. Spread the word!