Vaping Benefits Still Not Enough

There may be some good news for people who use e-cigarettes, or “vape,” their tobacco products. For the estimated 34.3 million smokers in the United States, quitting smoking may prove to be difficult. That’s why many smokers have switched from traditional paper cigarettes to smokeless tobacco products such as e-cigarettes. Touted as a healthier alternative to smoking, a new study by British American Tobacco has a new reason why vaping may be better than smoking: less staining.

The studies findings, which were presented at the Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw, Poland, found that the vapor generated by e-cigarettes caused less staining to everything from the teeth to common household objects such as wallpaper and furniture.

Study researchers measured the aerosol levels from vaping in cell culture chambers on wallpaper and on bovine teeth to simulate the results on human teeth.

Dr. Allison Lesko is a dentist from Fort Collins, Colorado. She says that though this is good news for any item that might be otherwise stained by tobacco, it’s not quite enough to earn a dentist’s seal of approval for the teeth.

“Vaping may stain the walls and your teeth less, but it’s still not good for your lungs or your teeth,” says Lesko. “The chemicals in vaping fluid are still addictive, and their long-term effects are still not known.”

Furthermore, Lesko says that while the staining from liquid tobacco products stain less than traditional cigarettes, they do still cause some staining. Worse yet, they still produce a film on furniture and floors.

“If you have family or friends sitting on your sofa, or children or pets playing on your floor, you are exposing them to the vape version of secondhand smoke,” Lesko says. “Stains should be the least of your worries.”

Another issue dentists have with e-cigarettes? Those lithium ion batteries.

“There have been numerous cases where an e-cigarette has exploded in the mouth of the user while in use,” says Lesko. “This has caused serious injury to the face and jaw and has resulted in lost teeth. Many victims have required numerous surgeries.”

So, if vaping really isn’t a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, what is the safer alternative?

“Quitting entirely,” says Lesko. “No staining, no secondhand chemicals to worry about, and no exploding devices, not to mention the numerous benefits to your health, like improved lung capacity and reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.”

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado

Vaping and Teens

If you haven’t heard by now, preliminary reports are in, and while smoking e-cigarettes, or “vaping,” may be safer than smoking traditional combustible cigarettes, it has not been proven safe, either. Worse yet, it has been found dangerous to one rapidly increasing demographic: teens and children. Here’s why parents of teens should be wary about the so-called safer alternative to smoking.

Last year, when a new type of e-cigarette hit the marketplace, many parents didn’t think much of it. Maybe that’s because the Juul doesn’t look like much more than a USB thumb drive. But that’s certainly not what it is. Designed to deliver more nicotine per vapor pod than traditional cigarettes and even some e-cigarettes, Juul has now cornered about 70 percent of the e-cigarette market. The brand, which is owned by Marlboro, claims its goal is to help traditional paper cigarette smokers quit – but the tantalizing fruit flavors are having the opposite effect among teens.

“We are finding that teens are attracted to the sweet flavors of these vaping fluids,” says Dr. Allison Lesko, a dentist from Fort Collins, Colorado.

Unfortunately, contrary to what Juul claims its intentions are, many of these teens are not trying to quit smoking, but are first-time smokers, becoming newly addicted to high levels of nicotine, often as high as a pack of cigarettes in one serving.

“It has become a real health epidemic,” says Lesko.

Thankfully, some states are taking notice. California, for example, is pushing to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco and vaping fluids. They would still sell the e-cigarettes themselves, but not the chemicals to use in them.

“Californian lawmakers recognize how popular these vaping fluids are among teens and are working to help stop the problem,” Lesko says.

And while some may see the move as government overreach, Lesko and other health professionals point to the facts.

“A recent study found that the earlier a teen or child starts smoking, the harder it is for them to quit,” says Lesko. “You would think since they’re younger and healthier it would be easier, but the data does not support this.”

In fact, the data shows two-thirds of children who begin smoking at as young as sixth grade will become regular adult smokers, and nearly half of 11th-grade smokers will follow the same path.

Worse still, e-cigarette smoking is increasing among teens and children, not decreasing – and that includes accidental poisonings from vaping fluid.

“Even children who only smoke once a month increase their risk of addiction 10 times,” Lesko says.

So, what’s a parent to do?

“Don’t let them start smoking or vaping,” says Lesko. “And know what to look for – educate yourself on what e-cigarettes like the Juul device look like. Whatever you do, don’t treat vaping like it’s harmless. It’s not.”

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado

How Safe Is Vaping?

More bad news for e-cigarette smokers trying to live a healthier lifestyle by “vaping” instead of smoking: According to several new reports, while the fluid used in e-cigarettes may be safer than smoking traditional cigarettes, the key word isn’t “safe,” but “safer.”

Fort Collins-based dentist Dr. Allison Lesko says that’s because while e-cigarette vapor is definitely healthier than inhaling smoke, it’s the chemicals in e-cigarette fluid that pose the real risk.

“The problem is, we just don’t know what those chemicals are doing,” says Lesko.

That’s down to several reasons – one main one being vaping fluids vary by manufacturer.

“There’s very little consistency or clarity about what’s in each individual flavor of vape fluid,” Lesko says.

Another problem? Lesko says, unlike with traditional cigarettes, there are simply no long-term studies yet.

“Vaping is too new of a thing to have any data on its long-term effects,” says Lesko. “So while manufacturers are telling us it’s safer, there’s no way to verify that either way.”

And therein lies another problem: the word “safer.” While manufacturers are deliberate with their use of the word, consumers may not be hearing that “r” at the end.

“When it comes to e-cigarettes and vaping, safer doesn’t automatically mean safe,” says Lesko. “It just means it’s safer than paper cigarettes, which doesn’t really tell us a whole lot.”

That’s because not only do we not know what the long-term effects on the smoker are, but we also don’t know what the long-term effects on second- and third-hand smokers are, either.

“People assume that because it’s vapor it evaporates into the air and doesn’t have any second-hand effects,” Lesko says. “But it doesn’t just vanish. Studies have shown it can still be inhaled via second-hand smoke, and those chemicals in the vapor don’t simply vanish – they fall to the ground or whatever surface is nearby.”

That falling to nearby surfaces poses yet another risk to anyone who touches those surfaces – including other adults, pets and, yes, children too.

“The effect vaping could have on children is a big deal,” says Lesko. “One article mentioned that children spend more time on the floor and absorb more dust particles than adults do. If those dust particles contain chemicals left behind by vaping, you’re packing a lot of potentially dangerous carcinogens into a relatively small body that is still growing and developing – and that could be very dangerous.”

As for the solution, Lesko and other experts agree: To make vaping truly safe, don’t do it – but if you must, treat it as you would smoking traditional cigarettes.

“Don’t vape in the house or car or around children. Treat it as you would regular second-hand smoke,” she says.

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado