A recent headline by BBC news revealed that there are now over 3 million “vapers” in the UK. The report details that this figure is predominantly made up of people who have or who are trying to quit smoking, and have turned to vaping as an alternative.[i]
On the surface this sounds like it’s good news. In fact, it was only earlier this year that Public Health England called for vaping devices to be available on prescription, as they have significantly helped at least 20,000 people a year quit smoking.[ii] However, as much as this is a positive step, especially in terms of oral health, vaping may still cause a number of negative effects that can impact oral health in general.
Perhaps the most worrying of these is that the nicotine that is still present in these devices has been proven to have several damaging effects, including restricting the blood supply to the gums. This may lead to gum recession, which in turn could open up mouths to multiple other problems.
On top of this, there has been a vast array of stories floating around suggesting that vaping may cause cancer or even alter our DNA. Unfortunately, until proper studies have been released regarding this subject, ascertaining whether these claims are fact or fiction isn’t possible – but I tend to find that these sorts of stories definitely have a grain of truth in them somewhere – especially when it comes to devices that directly deliver chemicals into the mouth.
I’m not going to pretend that vaping doesn’t have its benefits – looking at the statistics alone proves that the invention of e-cigarettes has substantially cut down the amount of smokers – but I am wary to suggest that these devices are harmless as well.
In light of this, I will return to my time treasured piece of advice and suggest that moderation is always going to be the way forward, especially if that leads to people eventually quitting vaping entirely and remaining cigarette, electronic or otherwise, free. This is the only way individuals can be sure that they aren’t damaging their oral health with substances such as nicotine.
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[ii] BBC News. E-cigarettes ‘Should be on prescription