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e cigarettesE-cigarettes and hookahs have taken the world by storm the past couple of years. Young and old alike have purchased these products. It has been said to be just as calming as the regular cigarettes but less damaging to the health. E-cigarettes have become a very popular alternative to the conventional cigarettes and have been reported to have sold nearly R1.4 billion in 2013. But contrary to the belief that e-cigarettes are healthier, scientists have proved that e-cigarettes do in fact still contain nicotine, and nicotine has damaging potential when it comes to your mouth.

How much nicotine is present in e-cigarettes?

The Conventional cigarette industry is regulated and this means that the manufacturers report the exact information about what is inside of every packet sold. E-cigarettes are not yet regulated, so nobody knows exactly just how much nicotine is present in them. The journal tobacco control did note that even though e-cigarettes contain less nicotine than conventional cigarettes, they still contain enough to do some long term damage. The good news here is that by middle 2016 e-cigarettes are set to be regulated.

What effect does nicotine have on teeth?

Cigarettes don’t damage your teeth directly as it was once thought. Nicotine does affect the saliva and the production thereof. The real damage to teeth comes from the lack of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is natures very own oral rinse, and when producing enough saliva, the food and other particles are washed away. If this does not happen, the food particles will build-up and damage your teeth and gums and in the long run cause tooth decay, loss of teeth, gingivitis and periodontal disease. The fact that e-cigarettes do not stain your teeth does not mean much. It can be signs like bad breath and that of plaque build-up that can serve as an early indicator of a more serious oral condition.

Are hookahs any better than e-cigarettes?

Hookahs have been around since the 1500s’ . A hookah filters the harmful toxic chemicals by means of water. It has been reported that hookahs have been linked to a few ailments that include some forms of oral or oesophageal cancers and most gum diseases. The world health organisation compared hookah to smoking 100 cigarettes because the sessions tend to mean exposure over a greater period of time.

What should you do?

Any form of smoking is bad for your health. And instead of finding a healthier alternative why not rather give up the bad habit? Some advice for kicking the habit is:
• Avoid the smoking triggers which could include caffeine, places and people you smoked with
• Staying positive and having the right attitude will help you tremendously in keeping your spirits up and break the reliance for nicotine
• Keeping busy is also very helpful. By keeping busy it takes your mind off of smoking. Things to keep you busy could maybe be jogging or watching a movie.

If you are really not sure on how to quit, consult your doctor and together you can work out a plan to be-able to quit effectively.