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New studies highlight the potential dangers surrounding vaping

Posted at 2:58 PM, Jul 20, 2023

TAMPA, Fla. — Around 20 million adults smoke e-cigarettes, many with the goal to quit smoking traditional tobacco, the CDC and FDA says. But the number of young people using vapes is just as alarming.

The CDC and FDA added that one in ten young people under the age of 18 use vapes, with a quarter of those using the devices daily.

This week, two new studies focusing on different aspects of vaping were released from the American Heart Association (AHA) and the University of Central Florida (UCF).

UCF’s research focused on how e-cigarettes impact the bacteria and environment in your mouth. It also looked at the short-term, immediate effects on the mouth, like bad breath, gum disease, tooth loss and inflammation.

Claudia Andl, an associate professor of medicine at UCF and one of the main researchers on the project, said they wanted to investigate the risk behind vaping and if it really is a safer alternative to smoking. She said their research shows vapes with nicotine and ones that have supposedly no additives cause harm to your mouth.

“Because the carrier liquid, the basic liquid in e-cigarettes or vapes, already contains things that are FDA approved, they seem to be safe," explained Andl. “We noticed that even without the nicotine, even the plain basic liquid, it does affect the growth of the good bacteria in the mouth and leaves room for the bad ones to grow.”

Andl said the next step is to see if these changes could increase the risk of developing cancer.

“The main takeaway is that the e-cigarette's use regardless of if it was with flavor, without flavor or with nicotine, it is overall a very bad idea if you are young and still have many years to develop a serious chronic disease,” she said.

Right now, Andl explained it is difficult to research any potential link between cancer and vaping because e-cigarettes have not been around for very long, and it takes time for cancer to develop.

Meanwhile, the AHA study looked at more than 300 papers on vaping and e-cigarette use. It found there are chemicals in e-cigarettes that have a negative impact on your heart, lungs, brain, blood vessels and GI system.

The AHA said that more research is needed, specifically on the long-term impact of e-cigarettes on the heart, blood vessels and lungs.