DNA Damage From Smoking and Vaping

hand holding a no vaping signIndividuals who assume electronic or e-cigarette vaping products are less harmful than cigarettes should take note: A recent University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine study shows that “chronic use of vape products for several months could lead to biological consequences that contribute to disease development.”

This particular study involved 72 healthy adults who were split into three groups— current vapers who had never smoked, current smokers who had never vaped and those with no history of either smoking or vaping. Results showed similar DNA damage levels between those who vaped and those who smoked. Highest DNA damage by flavor was reported to be the sweet-flavored vape “juices” followed by mint.

Professor of research population and public health sciences, Ahmad Besaratinia, PhD, was quoted as saying that “the devices and flavors that are most popular and highly consumed by youth vapers and adults are the ones that are associated with the most DNA damage.”

E-Cigarette Use Unfortunately is Still Growing

While the global market of vaping products is still smaller than that of tobacco cigarettes, some research points to e-cigarette (vape pen) use at “epidemic levels,” with tobacco companies still allowed to market to youth who are not just experimenting with vaping but doing so regularly. A CNN survey from 2021 reported that more than 2 million US teens vaped, with 25% vaping daily.

From an oral health standpoint, e-cigarettes still contain tobacco. which we know can contribute to periodontal disease by causing gums to recede, reducing blood circulation. And there have been some frightening reports of severe mouth burns from explosions.

Vaping is a relatively new activity. The consequences of regular use are just starting to be studied. We already know smoking is incredibly bad for your health. It shouldn’t come as a surprise when more of these studies come out confirming that vape pens are also very harmful to oral health.

If you haven’t already taken up this habit, consider chewing sugarless gum instead! Trying to quit cigarette smoking or vaping? Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW and/or check out the CDC’s “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign here.