Discovering the Dangerous Side Effects of Vaping
After several personal encounters with young people who vape, Dr. Tara Hardin – owner of Hardin Advanced Dentistry and Accredited Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry – decided she needed to take a stand and warn others about the dangerous side effects of vaping. Click below to listen to Dr. Hardin’s interview on 700 WLW with Bill Cunningham.
What you need to know about vaping
Many people still believe that vaping is a safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. It is not our fault. That is exactly how e-cigarettes have been marketed the past few years. But, just like any other product out there, once it is on the market long enough, the consumer gets to decide what is true and what proves to be false advertising.
Here is what you need to know about vaping that companies aren’t telling you:
- They are addictive – E-cigarettes still have nicotine in them, just like regular cigarettes, so they are still considered tobacco products.
- They are full of harmful chemicals – In addition to nicotine, e-cigarettes have chemicals such as diacetyl (found in many of the flavorants, and linked to serious lung disease), volatile organic compounds, and heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead. Because the vapor particles are so small, these chemicals and compounds are getting into the tiniest airways and causing lung diseases that doctors are not familiar with and may not know how to treat. At Hardin Advanced Dentistry, during patients’ regular cleanings, we always check for signs of gum disease, and we are finding these signs in the mouths of patients who vape.
- These lithium batteries are exploding – Just google “vapes exploding” if you are comfortable with the potentially graphic nature of these images.
- We don’t know a lot about the long-term effects – While we are starting to link sicknesses and even several deaths to e-cigarette use, these devices still have not been around long enough to know what the future holds for those who use them. All the more reason to stay away.
- The government is getting involved – We are thankful to see government officials stepping up and taking action. Just yesterday, September 16th, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans to launch a public awareness campaign about the dangers of the devices amid a nationwide outbreak of serious lung illness connected to vaping.
- As health care professionals, we have a responsibility to get involved – So when we see abnormal sores/redness in the mouth, we’ve started asking patients the question: Can you relate this to vaping?
How to talk to your kids about vaping
What about moms and dads? What role should parents be playing in helping their kids make healthy choices? As a mom of a thirteen, twelve and nine year old herself, Dr. Tara is passionate about this particular subject. Here is what she has to say:
- Show them photos – Instilling a little bit of fear in your child may not be such a bad thing. The side effects of vaping are scary and they are real! Talk to them about these things in a way that helps them understand the seriousness of vaping.
- Teach them leadership – In a world that tells our children to fit in and do whatever it takes to be accepted, we need to remind them that it is OKAY to be different. Leaders are, by definition, change-makers. In order to lead, you have to be headed in a different direction than most. And soon, people will begin to follow.
- Teach them the science – Every child has different interests and so there are many other angles that could be taken. If your kid has a big heart, talk to them about how they’re positive choices could help their friends. If your kid enjoys science, approach the conversation that way. What matters is that the conversation gets started.
- Remind them you love them – Perhaps the most important role parents have is cultivating an environment in our homes where our kids feels safe to come and talk to us about… where they know they are loved regardless of their actions so that they aren’t afraid to tell us when they are in danger and instead let us help them.
If you think ANYONE you know and love may be vaping – child or adult – talk to them about it!
How your dentist could help with the vaping epidemic
Professional advice is taken more to heart than words from our family and friends. When you schedule a consultation and comprehensive exam at Hardin Advanced Dentistry, we will find the early evidence of vaping through a full oral cancer examination and explain to patients the dangers. Our entire team is highly trained and committed to caring for each and every patient’s overall health and wellness. We would love to help you or a loved one.
If you have any questions or want to schedule a consultation and exam, please call our office at (513) 813-2716 or visit our Contact page where you can fill out a form with any questions you may have, and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.