Electronic cigarettes have been hitting the market hard. The battery powered-devices that deliver nicotine vapors are gaining ground among every age group, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The most stirring result, however, are their increasing popularity in young teens. According to a CDC national survey, the number of students in middle and high school who tried e-cigarettes doubled in 2012 from the previous year, totaling 1.8 million teenagers.
What are e-cigs, and how do they impact oral health?
Electronic cigarettes are inhalers that use refillable cartridges to provide doses of nicotine and other additives. Users change out the cartridges after 110 to 180 puffs, as they are not gauged in time duration. They contain irritants, animal carcinogens and genotoxins. Frequently, they have been considered a substitute for traditional cigarettes and a method for quitting smoking. The U.S. Food and Drug Association does not regulate these devices.
Although the vapor-emitting product has not been around long enough to be tested for any possible health risks, experts say that they are likely better for you than traditional cigarettes.
This is perhaps why many kids have turned toward them as a tobacco substitute. In 2012, approximately 160,000 students in middle and high school who reported using e-cigs had never tried conventional cigarettes. Many worry that the nicotine vaporizers might be a gateway, and could be reverting the act of smoking back to being cool.