Vaping has become increasingly popular today. I am sure you have seen someone walking down the street or driving in their car blowing out a thick cloud of smoke while holding some foreign looking device. Well, they are vaping.
Vaping involves inhaling vapor from a cylindrical device (the vape) that is filled with liquid chemicals. There is a heating element in the vape that changes the liquid into steam.
So, should you assume this is a safer alternative to cigarettes? No! There are the same carcinogenic chemicals in vapes as there are in cigarettes. The vapor from this has been identified to worsen the air quality by releasing nicotine, formaldehyde, lead and other chemicals. Exposure to these chemicals are dangerous — especially for younger children.
An unfortunate trend is that vaping has become popular with pre-teens and teenagers. These children are made to believe that vaping is not harmful because they can buy flavored liquids to put in the vape. They think, “how could something that smells and tastes like cotton candy, apples, or bananas be bad for me?” Unfortunately, this is how these vaping companies are attracting young smokers and has turned this into a billion dollar industry.
If you do vape, here are some signs and symptoms to look for in terms of oral cancer:
Red and/or white patches in the oral cavity
Sores in the mouth and on the lips that do not heal
A sore throat that persists
Please contact your doctor immediately if you notice any of these signs or symptoms.
Remember, the best precaution is not to vape, but if you do continue, it is important to see a dentist regularly so they can do an oral cancer screening.