The use of e-cigarettes or vaping is increasing. These products are easily available in specialty stores and some convenience stores. Many of these items are sometimes sold as a safe alternative when compared to smoking. However, are they really safe?
What is vaping?
Vaping is the inhalation and exhalation of vapors produced by an electronic cigarette or a similar device. Most of the research available is divided on the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes as an aid to quit smoking. Health Canada has not approved their use as a quit smoking aid. Some researchers are are concerned that the use of vaping products may act as an avenue or gateway to nicotine dependence.
Some studies show that the use of electronic cigarettes can make young people more willing to try traditional cigarettes. Additionally, the vapor liquids are available in appealing flavours for younger users. While a lot of progress has been made to reduce the use of traditional cigarettes in Canada, the introduction of electronic cigarettes may be doing the opposite.
How does vaping work?
Traditional cigarettes use fire to produce smoke. However, electronic cigarettes are battery powered and use a battery to produce heat. The heat produced is used to heat the liquid which produces a vapor. Some electronic devices can be filled manually with the vaping liquid, while others come with pre-filled cartridges.
Vaping and your health
Most of the known risks that are associated with electronic cigarettes are due to the addictive qualities and negative effects of nicotine. Additional research is required to determine the risks due to inhaling these substances long-term.
Due to the lack of scientific research, most dental professionals do not approve of their use at this time. If you have additional questions about your oral health and the effects of smoking, contact your dental professional.