Vaping & Cancer Link: The New Danger

Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 5:38 PM EDT
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ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Since its debut to the U.S. marketplace in 2007, e-cigarettes – widely known as vapes – have become increasingly popular, especially among young people. According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, more than three million middle and high school students vaped in 2022. E-cigarettes contain nicotine and have been linked to lung and cardiovascular diseases. But now, a University of Central Florida researcher has discovered that vaping could also increase your risk for cancer.

E-cigarettes, vapes, Juuls – they go by many names, but these devices have increased in popularity among young people. One in 10 people under 18 vapes and a quarter of those young people vape daily. It has been known to cause a host of complications, including lung and heart disease. But new research suggests that vaping can increase your risk for oral cancer as well.

“After exposure to e-cigarette vaping, that was independent of nicotine or nicotine content, a lot of the bacteria, the ‘good’ bacteria, die,” explains Claudia Andl, PhD, an associate professor of medicine at the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida.

This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Andl’s research focuses on bacteria that is found in the skin that can cause illness or death if it gets into the blood stream. Usually, when someone has a healthy immune system, it kills the bacteria, but Andl’s research suggests that vaping compromises that response, allowing the bacteria to grow.

Andl adds, “Hopefully, with some of the recent research that we have published – and others – overall, it will lead to more awareness, and hopefully, it will change some of the policy making.”

If you are a parent or guardian and you suspect your child or teen is vaping, or interested in vaping, the CDC suggests: learning about the risks, setting a good example, adopting tobacco-free rules, and letting your child or teen know that you want them to stay away from tobacco.

Contributors to this news report include: Adahlia Thomas, Associate Producer; Fernando Jimenez, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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