Issue: Volume 8, Issue 1
Release Date: 1 Feb 2015
Electronic Cigarettes: Harm Reduction or Another Addiction?; the Dental Perspective
Abstract: The use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) has grown rapidly over recent years with an estimated 2.1 million people ‘vaping’ in the UK. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices which simulate smoking. A heated element vaporizes chemicals, usually nicotine plus diluents like propylene glycol and glycerine as well as flavourings, which are then inhaled. Only limited research exists on the safety and efficacy of e-cigarettes and opinions are divided in the health profession as to whether they should be endorsed or not. Similarly, at a regulatory level and among the general public, an intense debate is taking place as to how they should be considered. In this paper we will review the available research with regards to e-cigarette contents, safety and health effects. As the mouth will take the initial insult from the vapour, we consider the potential effects on oral health as well as discussing the current regulatory and political position, so that we can be in a more informed position to advise our patients.
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