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expert reaction to claim that vaping is as bad for oral health as smoking

A press release by the European Federation of Periodontology made the claim that vaping was as harmful for oral health as smoking.


Dr Richard Holliday, Honorary Consultant in Restorative Dentistry and Specialist in Periodontics at Newcastle University, said:

“This press release is completely out of step with the research base and expert opinion in this area.  I am not aware of any research that shows e-cigarettes are as harmful for oral health as smoking.  No studies are cited in this press release to support the bold statements made.

“The very best peer-reviewed research summaries in this area conclude that the impact on periodontal health of e-cigarette use is fairly minimal – and certainly not as damaging as smoking.  Of course, further research is needed in this area.

“E-cigarettes are not risk-free and users will have effects on the oral cavity, just as you would expect from introducing any substance into a complex oral ecosystem. 

“For smokers using e-cigarettes to quit, the benefits from quitting are likely to far outweigh any negative effects from e-cigarettes.

“Non-smokers, especially young people, should not be using e-cigarettes and anything we can do to prevent use in this group is critically important.”

Some recent example studies supplied by Dr Holliday:

Pesco 2022 concluded: ‘Periodontal parameters were similar among NS and ES, while TS presented the worst indices.’

Figueredo 2020 concluded: ‘there is not enough evidence to fully characterize the impacts of vaping on periodontitis.’

Holliday 2020 summarized: ‘Overall, evidence suggests that the risk of periodontal disease associated with e-cigarette use is less than that associated with tobacco smoking but more than that seen in nonsmokers.’



Declared interests

Richard Holliday: “I have no conflicts of interests.”

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