Electronic cigarettes (ecigs) have gained a growing popularity in the past few years. They don’t have the obnoxious smell of traditional cigarettes, and manufacturers market them as being a safer alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes. They are very popular with younger smokers and an entire “vape” subculture has been formed around the use of ecigs. Very ornate vape pens are sold and manufacturers offer several flavors for consumers.
Many manufacturers market ecigs as a safe alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes or as a safe way to help stop smoking. But how safe are they really? While the “smoke” from ecigs is actually water vapor, they can still pose serious oral health problems.
What are Ecigs?
Ecigs are battery powered cartridges which are filled with liquid which contains nicotine. The smoke created by ecigs is actually water vapor which is then breathed in and exhaled just like traditional cigarettes. One of the benefits of ecigs is that there is not tar or other chemicals produced by burning tobacco to be inhaled into the lungs. You can smoke ecigs virtually anywhere since the produce no smoke. But since ecigs do contain varying levels of nicotine you still get the harmful effects of this substance when you smoke an ecig.
Adverse Reactions to Ecigs
Nicotine is addictive. It may cause heart palpitations, feeling anxious, a rise in blood pressure, contribute to heart disease, up your risk of stroke, put you at risk for oral cancer, and damage your arteries. With the popularity of ecigs growing reports of complications and complaints about them to the FDA have increased. These include trouble breathing, cough, headache, sore throat, nose bleeds, chest pain, and dizziness as well as severe allergic reactions. Although you can smoke ecigs in public places others may suffer these reactions due to the chemicals released in the water vapor as you smoke.
Health Risks Posed by Ecigs
While there are not many years of evidence to show that ecigs pose serious health risks, the vapor does contain nicotine. Nicotine is addictive and may cause serious health problems in some people. The fact ecigs can be flavored may make them very attractive to young people and they may act as a gateway to smoking tobacco cigarettes. According to an analysis done by the FDA the solution used in one brand of ecigs contained the same toxic chemical found in antifreeze and several other cancer causing chemicals such as nitrosamines.
While ecigs may look like an attractive alternative to tobacco cigarettes they still may pose a serious health threat. Since they have only been available since 2006 in the United States data is still coming in about their safety. The best course of action is to choose not to smoke at all. Call or contact Honest Family Dental and ask about the safety of ecigs and the risk they may pose to your oral health. The risks of smoking any type of cigarette are high, and we want you to be healthy and safe.