Smokeless Doesn’t Equal Safe
By Susan Vogell, EdD, RDH, Xiomara Aragon, CDA, Mayra Guzman Carbajal and Ryan Galardi
Smoking has taken on a new form. While the use of traditional cigarettes has declined, alternatives, such as electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or vaping, have been gaining popularity. Middle and high school students are the largest users of these smoking alternatives. According to a report by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.1 million US middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2017. This new fad can have deleterious health consequences. E-cigarettes contain varying levels of nicotine and other chemicals known to increase the risk of cancer. In addition, e-cigarettes can harm the oral cavity. Oral health professionals need to educate patients about the potential harm of these products.