News around the harmful effects of e-cigarettes and “vaping” is growing. In addition to damaging the lungs and heart, electronic cigarette smoking has also been found to increase the risk of dental cavities. The side effects of e-cigarette liquid now include damaging the teeth, much like sticky candies and sodas do.
Kids Are at Risk
If you’ve ever witnessed someone exhaling an e-cigarette puff, you’ve likely noticed how different it smells than a regular cigarette. When smoking e-cigarettes, the user can pick from more than 10,000 flavors. When the ADA looked at more than 400 available e-liquid brands, they saw that “84 percent offered fruit flavors and 80 percent offered candy and dessert flavors.”
What was initially intended to assist older people in quitting smoking is now attracting a growing number of teens who weren’t smoking before. “More than 20 percent of high school students report using e-cigarettes on a regular basis.” This is almost twice what was reported in 2017.
E-cigarettes are the most used tobacco product for middle- and high-school kids in the United States. Social media campaigns, product placement, and sweet candy flavors are a few of the ways kids are being introduced to e-cigarettes.
The ADA states that “e-cigarettes [impact] on human health goes beyond respiratory and cardiac systems and may have significant implications on oral health.” Researchers found that the aerosol in e-liquid increased bacteria on the enamel by 4 times!
There are negative repercussions that go beyond the teeth. Multiple reports have come out about the risk of e-cigarettes exploding. One 18-year-old male was using his e-cigarette before giving a presentation when it exploded. He was left with burns in the mouth and the stomach, and lacerations in the mouth from the device.
Another 23-year old male, experienced injuries and burns on his face, hand, and chest after his e-cigarette exploded. A scan of his oral cavity revealed “fractures of his hard palate and nasal septum, and dislocation of the adjacent teeth.” The soft palate and front teeth receive extensive damage when an explosion like this occurs. Due to their unregulated nature, researchers don’t consider them a safe alternative to cigarette smoking.
How to Quit
In 2016, the US Surgeon General “declared use of e-cigarettes by young people a ‘major public health concern.’” With awareness around the harmful effects of e-cigarettes increasing, more resources are available to help those affected, such as this free booklet.
If you or someone you love needs more resources on how to quit smoking, check out Tips From Former Smokers® from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For more tips for quitting smoking, check out our other blog: