The chemicals used in e-cigarettes are just as damaging, if not moreso, to mouth cells than traditional cigarettes. This was the finding a recent study published in the journal Oncotarget.
Even though e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, they do contain other harmful chemicals including nicotine. In the study, e-cigarette vapor was found to cause damage to gum tissue cells on a level that is very similar to the damage caused by tobacco smoke exposure.
Another interesting finding of the study was related to flavored vapor. Some e-cigarettes manufacturers add flavoring, such as a menthol flavored vapor to try to increase their appeal. The chemicals used for this flavoring seems to exacerbate the cell damage caused by e-cigarettes.
The conclusion of the research team was “Overall, our data suggest the pathogenic role of [e-cigarette] aerosol to calls and tissue of the oral cavity, leading to compromised periodontal health.”
While e-cigarettes are often marketed as a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes, the data is still out on the long term affect vaping has on health. And, at least in this study, the data suggests there are situations where e-cigarettes could be as harmful, if not more harmful, than their traditional predecessors.