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article imageDental hygienists raise e-cigarette concerns

By Tim Sandle     Sep 7, 2015 in Health
Toronto - Canada’s dental hygienists have raised concerns about the impact of e-cigarettes on the nation’s oral health, noting a decline in the conditions of e-cigarette smokers' mouths, particularly in youth.
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are battery-powered devices that look like conventional cigarettes. E-cigarettes are composed of three parts: a battery, a cartridge (containing water, flavouring and sometimes nicotine in a base of propylene glycol and glycerin), and a vaporizer. Since their launch the devices have attracted a mix of advocates and those who are concerned about the safety of the devices in terms of the chemicals they contain together with the marketing strategy of some manufacturers, who orientate e-cigarettes to young people.
With the latter point, research suggests more school children in England have experimented with electronic cigarettes than have tried smoking conventional cigarettes.
To highlight concerns, the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA) has issued a paper titled “Position Statement on E-Cigarettes.” In the paper, the CDHA calls for:
A ban on e-cigarettes sales to minors.
A ban on flavourings in cartridges and e-liquids.
A ban on e-cigarette use in public places and workplaces.
Each of these steps, the CDHA asserts, will contribute to improving the oral and overall health of people. Concern about additives has recently been raised in the medical journal The Lancet.
Like Public Health England (see Digital Journal), the CDHA believes electronic cigarettes should be regulated. However, the Canadian body goes further in stating that not only oral health will improve through control over the additives — other adverse health issues will be addressed.
In light of this, Mandy Hayre, CDHA president, stated: “Since e-cigarettes are not regulated by all levels of government in Canada, some e-cigarette products labelled as nicotine-free have been found to contain nicotine. Other ingredients that have been found in e-cigarettes include formaldehyde, carcinogenic compounds, and vapour containing heavy metals. Moreover, the potential harm from second-hand e-cigarette vapour remains an unknown.”
This tallies with The World Health Organization. The United Nations health body warns that the flavors used in e-cigarettes can potentially cause respiratory problems or affect the immune system.
More about ecigarettes, Dental, Oral hygiene, Dentist, Tobacco
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