Electronic cigarettes are sold as a safer alternative to consume nicotine as compared to conventional cigarettes. They have been becoming increasingly popular with many people, especially youngsters in order to fulfill their nicotine needs.
Apart from the e-cigarettes stylish look, which attracts many impressionable teenagers, many people genuinely consider them harmless for oral health. But with more scientific studies on the subject, dangers of e-cigarettes are coming to the fray.
Misconception: E-cigarettes are harmless to Oral Health
One of a recent study conducted in the University of Rochester Medical Center reveals that electronic cigarettes are equal in their extent of damage to oral health as conventional cigarettes. It is an extensive research study, first of its kind, which studied the harmful effects of e-cigarettes on gums and teeth. It concludes that this form of nicotine consumption is equally and in some cases more damaging to oral health. These oral health problems include tooth loss, gum inflammation, and even oral cancer.
The liquid used in e-cigarettes doesn’t contain tobacco in its conventional form, which is notorious for its harmful impact on health. However, it contains nicotine, flavoring agents and other chemicals that can compromise the user’s health.
Laid Back Attitude Towards the Harm of E-cigarette
Due to lack of awareness about the dangers of e-cigarettes, society does not perceive it as a threat to health. Stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a rapid increase in the use of e-cigarettes among youngsters. In 2015, around 16 percent of high-school students were using e-cigarettes as compared to just 1.5% in 2011.
One of the reasons is that it is still considered relatively safe for health is because its long-term effects are not known yet. There is very limited data available on the subject which lags the process of research on the subject.
However, the research from the University of Rochester has given substantial proof of the negative effects of e-cigarette vapors. Research has used nonsmokers to observe the effects of e-cigarettes and it has been concluded that the vapors cause damage to tissue cells of gum. When cells are exposed to nicotine-led vapors, it results in the denaturation of inflammatory cellular proteins resulting in high levels of stress within cells. Stressed tissue cells make gums more vulnerable to different oral diseases. Another study finds out that vapors of e-cigarette can kill mouth cells at a rapid pace.
Apart from dangerous to oral health, e-cigarettes are also considered bad for many other reasons.
Suppression of Immune System
A comparative research study on the effects of conventional and e-cigarettes reveals that e-cigarettes suppress the activity of 300 immune system-aiding genes as compared to the conventional smokes. The research is conducted on nasal epithelial cells. The conclusion of the study clearly points out that the vapors of e-cigarettes contain immunosuppressive effects on the body.
Since e-cigarettes are operated through batteries, they contain an inherent electrical hazard that can be very dangerous for users. The lithium-ion batteries used in e-cigarettes can overheat to cause a small explosion which can severely injure the mouth.
Unregulated Amount of Nicotine
Nicotine is a psychoactive chemical compound. Its continuous and excessive use can transform into substance abuse. In most of the e-cigarettes liquids, nicotine is included without any regulation and users are not aware of the quantity they are consuming.
Aerosol of E-Cigarettes Contain Metal Particles
Researchers have studied the constituents of e-cigarette aerosols. It has been found that metals such as tin, silver, iron, silicate, and chromium were present nearly on the same levels as they have been found in conventional cigarette smoke. Presence of these nanoparticles in the body is associated with different health complications such as respiratory diseases and abnormal cell growth.
Its Liquid is Poisonous
According to a press release issued from CDC, the number of calls into poison centers involving e-cigarettes liquid had increased 215 times in the span of four years. The incidents involve the cases of ingestion, absorption, and inhalation of the liquid. Many of the emergencies involve children who might be attracted to the candy and fruit flavor of the e-cigarette liquid.
Due to all these problems originating from e-cigarettes, it is very evident that they are injurious to health and can cause damages akin to conventional smoking.