YOUR HEALTH: Vaping and cancer link: The new danger

Link between vaping and oral cancer, research says
Link between vaping and oral cancer, research says(WNDU)
Published: Nov. 10, 2023 at 8:45 AM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Since its debut in the U.S. marketplace in 2007, e-cigarettes – widely known as vape – 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 age 18 vape 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,” explained Claudia Andl, 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 are found in the skin that can cause illness or death if they get into the bloodstream. 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.

“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,” Andl added.

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.

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