Dentist says dump e-cigarettes
Published 1:19 pm Wednesday, May 29, 2019
A Charlotte County dentist is encouraging locals to dump their cigarettes – and especially the increasingly-popular e-cigarettes.
Dr. Michael A. Campbell points to a study released by the Annals of Internal Medicine that found 10.8 million American adults use e-cigarettes, and more than half of them are under 35 years old.
“Additionally, there is evidence that e-cigarette usage among young adults leads to the use of cigarettes,” he said. “Oral cancer impacts an estimated 53,000 Americans per year and is the eighth most common cancer among men.”
Campbell’s comments were prompted by the realization that e-cigarette use is increasing.
According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, in 2018, 20.8 percent of high school students had used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days, an increase of 78 percent compared to 2017, he said.
“This is a significant increase from 2011, in which e-cigarette usage among high school students was just 1.5 percent,” Campbell said.
April was Oral Cancer Awareness month, so the Virginia Dental Association (VDA) wanted to share information about oral health and tobacco and e-cigarette use throughout the state.
“The VDA wants to remind folks that while the safety of e-cigarette products remains inconclusive, nicotine can lead to oral health concerns such as receding gums, periodontal disease, tooth staining and tooth loss,” said Laura Elizabeth Saunders with The Hodges Partnership, a public relations organization. “A 2018 study also found that vaping sweet flavored e-cigarettes can increase the risk of dental cavities.”
Different month, but the same issues and concerns — and Camp- bell, a VDA member, is giving voice to the organization’s concerns in Charlotte County.
“Vaping and the use of e-cigarettes are synonymous,” he said. “E-cigarettes are used
as a nicotine delivery system. Nicotine is a very addictive substance and e-cigarettes can
deliver a large amount of nicotine in a single use.” Campbell said the
long-term effects of
e-cigarettes are still unknown but studies — including experts convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine — released a review of about 800 scientific studies on e-cigarettes. One conclusion: e-cigarettes are likely to be far less harmful than combustible tobacco cigarettes.
“However, less harmful is not the same as safe,” he said. “The
above study also stated that the risks of e-cigarettes cause on their own terms, not just in comparison to tobacco cigarettes, ‘cannot be determined at this time, more research is ongoing and needed.’”
Campbell has been practicing family dentistry in Charlotte County for 30 years, moving here after living in Northern Virginia as he sought “a more rural atmosphere.”
“The number of young people who use
e-cigarettes is concerning and every effort should be made to prevent these products from getting into the hands
of children,” he continued. “Recent adoption of legislation in Virginia banning tobacco and nicotine products to those under the age of
21 is a step in the right direction. As a matter of fact, JUUL, the largest player in the e-cigarette-vaping industry, just had a full-page advertisement in the
Richmond Times-Dispatch urging legislation to increase the age to buy all tobacco products to 21 years of age.”