I recently ran across a health advice column in a newspaper that discussed the use of e-cigarettes and oral health. Because it’s such a hot topic in the industry right now, I thought it was important to bring it up again ( I recently wrote another blog about related research). I figure that keeping this topic in the headlines is a good thing. That way we can be sure that as many people as possible receive the information. Because, let’s face it, many still think that vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes. Here’s yet another health professionals take on the subject.
A reader wrote into the column, asking about whether or not they should drop their vaping habit. Like so many others, they has started vaping as a means to stop smoking. But after hearing that it can trigger mouth cancer, the reader was worried that they should quit, and asked for the opinion of a well-known doctor. Long story short, the doctor of course said yes! And here’s why:
There have recently been two studies that have shown how damaging e-cigarettes can be to oral tissue. A study out of Canada looked a the effect of 15 minutes a day of exposure to e-cig vapors on cells that line the mouth. They found that those cells died at a much greater rate than normal. Typically, about 2% of these cells die in unexposed cell cultures. During the study, a whopping 53% were dying after three days of exposure to vapors. Without these cells, you’re much more susceptible to infection, gum disease, and even cancer.
The second study was completed at the University of Rochester. Here, they found that e-cigs are just as damaging to gum tissue as tobacco cigarettes. The lead researcher said: “When the vapors from an e-cigarette are burned, it causes cells to release inflammatory proteins, which in turn aggravate stress within cells, resulting in damage that could lead to various oral diseases.”
Instead of using e-cigarettes as a stepping stone to quitting tobacco products, it is much more advisable to quit smoking altogether. Many industry experts will recommend an approach that combines patches and/or pills, medical counseling and social/group support. Check out the resources available from the Cleveland Clinic, one of the most respected and effective programs in the country. And if you’ve tried to quit before, but haven’t been successful, DON’T GIVE UP!! It takes an average of six attempts to finally kick the habit. Keep trying and you will succeed! Best of luck!