The Dangers of Smoking and Vaping

Even when we know the risks, quitting smoking can be really hard. That’s because cigarettes contain nicotine, a chemical additive that makes smoking addictive. That addictive quality makes the smoker go through withdrawal, which can be unbearable, making quitting without help a challenge.

As a result, many smokers turn to lozenges, which can damage the teeth, or worse – to vaping. Vaping is the act of smoking e-cigarettes. Vaping uses a liquid that is ‘vaporized’ into the lungs. A common misconception is that this is somehow safer than smoking, and by proxy healthier for you, but unfortunately this cannot be farther from the truth.

The fact is, vaping is just as dangerous as smoking, and could actually be more dangerous than smoking. We simply don’t know the long-term effects of vaping on the body, but what we do know of the shorter-term effects isn’t good.

So, what makes vaping so dangerous? For starters, vaping contains dangerous chemicals that can harm the teeth and gums. These chemicals include your old foe, nicotine (yes, vaping fluid still has nicotine!), propylene glycol (a chemical that erodes tooth enamel) propionaldehyde (a gum tissue irritant), and vegetable glycerine (a sweetener that sticks to the teeth). Believe it or not, vaping fluid is so sticky it’s been found to coat furniture, floors, and walls in vapers homes, creating a sort of secondhand smoke that can be absorbed into the bodies of children and pets!

The best thing you can do for your health if you smoke is to quit, without the use of vaping as a substitute. Vaping has proven to be a danger, and we don’t even know what it will do to the body 20 years down the road because it’s so new still. If you do vape, it makes sense to begin the process of quitting that, too. Even the e-cigarettes themselves can be dangerous. Several people have suffered severe injuries when their e-cigarette exploded during use due to the batteries in the unit combusting.

If you need help quitting, speak to your physician, or to Dr. Mingus. If you do smoke or vape it’s also very important that you care for your oral health by brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing at least once per day, and attending regular checkups with Dr. Mingus.