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Dentists: Huge gaps in science on impacts of vaping

We have welcomed the aspirations set out in the Independent review into policies to reduce tobacco use.

However, we have stressed that government must take a guarded approach to promotion of vaping as an alternative, given current gaps in the science.

Smoking is one of the lead drivers for oral cancers, which claim more lives each year than car accidents. This review, led by Dr Javed Khan OBE, makes four ‘critical recommendations’ including promoting vaping. It stresses “the government must embrace the promotion of vaping as an effective tool to help people to quit smoking tobacco. We know vapes are not a 'silver bullet' nor are they totally risk-free, but the alternative is far worse.”

We accept the harms from vaping are less than from smoking. However, there have been recent suggestions linking disposable vapes to gum disease. Epidemiological studies also highlight concerns over oral dryness, irritation, and gum diseases.

Mick Armstrong, Chair of the British Dental Association’s Health and Science Committee said: “The risks of long-term oral and general health problems from e-cigarettes are frankly an unknown. With products that are so new, officials must keep an eye on emerging evidence, particularly given high uptake among young people.”