Manufacturers of electronic cigarettes and vaporizers market these products as a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes. However, when it comes to oral health, new research suggests that vaping may be just as harmful as smoking conventional tobacco cigarettes. In a study published in the journal Oncotarget, researchers found that the chemicals present in the vapors of an electronic cigarette were equally or more damaging to mouth cells as tobacco smoke. Such damage could lead to a variety of health problems including gum disease, tooth loss and even mouth cancer.
E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that contain a heating device and a cartridge bearing a liquid solution. These liquids usually come in a variety of flavors. The heating device then vaporizes the liquid as the user puffs on the device. The vapor is then inhaled. Technically, e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, which is a highly harmful ingredient in conventional cigarettes. This is why e-cig companies have been marketing these products as safe for consumption. However, studies have shown that these devices still contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals.
Research on E-Cigs
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that the use of e-cigarettes has significant increased in recent years. In 2015, 16 percent of high school students said they used the devices compared with only 1.5 percent in 2011. More studies being done are confirming that e-cigarettes are not only harmful, but have long-term health effects including lung problems.
In the most recent study on oral health, done at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York, researchers exposed the gum tissue of nonsmokers to either tobacco- or menthol-flavored e-cigarette vapor. What they found was that all e-cig vapor caused damage to gum tissue cells, quite comparable to that caused by good old tobacco smoke. In fact, the study showed that when vapors from an e-cigarette are burned, they cause cells to release inflammatory proteins, which aggravate stress within cells thereby resulting in damage that could cause oral diseases.
The Problem of Explosions
In addition to health concerns, we also have the added serious problem of the lithium-ion batteries in e-cigarettes exploding and/or catching fire while still in use. This has happened a lot more frequently over the last year resulting in serious burn injuries and scarring among consumers.
If you or a loved one has suffered adverse health effects as a result of smoking e-cigarettes or if you have been injured due to an lithium battery explosion while using an e-cigarette, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, retailer or other involved parties. Contact an experienced product defect lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.