E-cigarettes: A Threat to Health

E-cigarettes: A Threat to Health
Posted on 11/27/2017
E-cigarettes: A Threat to Health

Juuling, a brand of e-cigarettes or vaping, has become extremely popular among adolescents.   It is promoted as a "safe" product and perceived to be something all the cool kids are doing.  It is so prominent that multiple principals in the greater Boston area have sent out notices to parents to not only inform them about vaping, but to also ask for their help in discouraging e-cigarette use.   As a pediatric dentist who interacts with teens on a daily basis, I have to say that many of my patients admit to at least trying vaping, if not doing it regularly. E-cigarettes can be concealed easily as they come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, with some looking like thumb drives or even Sharpies! Furthermore, they tend to have minimal odor, so they are much more difficult to detect than traditional cigarettes.

So, you are probably wondering, what are the negatives to e-cigarettes?  Well, at this point, they have not been around long enough for any long term studies of their effects to be determined.  However, as a recent article in the Boston Globe pointed out, nicotine, a highly addictive drug, is found in e-cigarettes.

Teens love the nicotine high they get when vaping, but they should be aware that it can cause increased blood pressure, increased heart rate and decreased memory and attention span.  Finally, not unlike marijuana and cigarettes, vaping acts as a gateway drug.

In summary, vaping is not nearly as harmless as it is currently perceived to be by the average teen and we must all work together to help overturn this misconception!   We will do our best as a dental profession, but we hope all of you reading this post will also take some ownership as well!

Our office has created an informational pamphlet about the dangers of smoking as well as providing you with helpful information to support quitting.  Additionally, here is the link to the Boston Globe article about the dangers of this trend, http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/11/15/where-teenagers-are-high-school-bathrooms-vaping/IJ6xYWWlOTKqsUGTTlw4UO/story.html.  We hope you find this information helpful!

Sincerely,

Dr. Kathleen McCafferty
Pediatric dentist, Needham and Bedford offices

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