“Four experts from Newcastle University’s School of Dental Sciences have done us all a favour by speaking the truth and smashing the latest lie against vaping,” says Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).
Her comments follow a claim in the British Dental Journal that vaping causes tooth damage. The claim was made by two food science lecturers at the Cardiff Metropolitan University School of Sport and Health Science.
A letter has since been published in the British Dental Journal by Newcastle University vaping and dentistry experts Dr Richard Holliday, Professor Elaine McColl, Anthony Weke, and Zella Sayeed debunking the claims out of Cardiff.
The four wrote they ‘were disappointed to see several basic errors and misrepresentations’ and went onto correct five major errors in the ‘erosive potential of vaping’ paper.
“The United Kingdom has adopted a relatively progressive and risk-proportionate approach to vaping, with Public Health England resolute that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking. The fact that two food science lecturers were able to get their claims published in the first place is surprising, but thankfully they’ve now been sent down the road,” says Ms Loucas.
Newcastle’s quartet of experts say the authors cite a WHO poster and incorrectly claim that nicotine causes a ‘high risk of oral and whole-body health complications’. In reality, nicotine has been used in the form of NRT for over 30 years, including in pregnant women, and is regarded as extremely safe, even for long-term use
Also significantly, the authors wrongly claim that e-cigarettes are associated with cancer. The supporting reference does not make this claim and in fact states ‘no long-term evidence related to oral and systemic health effects exist’.
The Newcastle experts then ‘point UK dental professionals to the well-considered public health guidance which basically concludes that, for the best chances of quitting smoking, one should use support and pharmacotherapy and that e-cigarettes can be part of that package’.
CAPHRA notes that in The Times newspaper last month restorative dentistry and periodontics specialist Dr Richard Holliday wrote ‘smokers who are thinking about switching to an e-cigarette should bear in mind that this is a great move for their general and oral health’.
“The food science lecturers’ biggest mistake was one made by so many – that is talking up the WHO’s anti-vaping stance as the official public health position. Tellingly, all UK public bodies, including the NHS, ignore the WHO’s advice. They support vaping, knowing it does not erode teeth nor lead to gum disease.
“Once again science and human evidence have trumped another untenable ideological lie about vaping,” says Nancy Loucas.