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Health Spotlight: Possible link between vaping, oral cancer

(Photo from Video Aired on WISH)


(WISH) — Research has extended the list of risks from vaping to oral cancer.

Since their debut to the U.S. marketplace in 2007, e-cigarettes – widely known as vapes – have become increasingly popular, especially with young people.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s National Youth Tobacco Survey, more than 3 million middle and high school students vaped in 2022.

A University of Central Florida researcher has discovered that vaping could also increase the risk for oral cancer.

Claudia Andl, an associate professor in the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida, said, “After exposure to e-cigarette vaping, that was independent of nicotine or nicotine content, a lot of the bacteria, the ‘good’ bacteria, die.”

The research found the death of good bacteria can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Andl’s research focused on a particular bacteria found in the skin that can cause illness or death if it gets into the bloodstream.

Usually, when someone has a healthy immune system, it kills the bacteria, but Andl’s research suggested that vaping compromises that response, allowing the bacteria to grow.

“Hopefully, with some of the recent research that we have published, and others overall, it will lead to more awareness, and, hopefully, it will change some of the policy making.”

Fo parents and guardians who think their children are vaping or interested in vaping, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested learning about the risks, setting a good example, and adopting tobacco-free rules.

This story was created from a script aired on WISH-TV. Health Spotlight is presented by Community Health Network.