E-cigarettes Examined

In the last decade smoking has significantly decreased overall in the United States. However, the popularity of e-cigarettes is on the rise with young adults. These e-cigarettes use a battery operated heating element to vaporize a custom flavored e-liquid. This vapor is then inhaled into the lungs. At this time there are no known oral contraindications to the use of e-cigarettes, but this is due to the lack of long term research currently available. There is enough concern about the use of these products that the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has called for intensive research into the possible side effects of their use. Users should be aware that e-cigarettes contain carcinogens such as toxic chemicals and heavy metals whose levels vary depending upon the manufacturer. One of these is nicotine which is known to be highly addictive, and can produce withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, depression, and anxiety. This is concerning as the e-cigarettes come in flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, cherry, java, and even gummy bear. These flavors seem to be marketed to the young adults, the age group that is vulnerable to nicotine adversely affecting brain development. As dental professionals we recommend that you avoid the oral use of products containing carcinogens. If you do choose to use e-cigarettes you should get the Vizilite oral cancer screening annually.