The list of weird vaping side effects keeps growing, with doctors now warning against ‘vape tongue.’
With vape use hitting epidemic proportions, especially in young people, experts have taken to social media to spread awareness of the health impacts.
‘Vape tongue is when you start to lose your taste because you’ve been vaping so much,’ Dr Stewart Beggs, a cosmetic dentist in the UK, shared on TikTok.
‘This is really on the rise because of the popularity of these disposable vapes, which have all these ridiculous flavors.’
Dr Stewart Beggs, a cosmetic dentist based in the UK, shared on TikTok that vape tongue has become increasingly common with the rise of flavored e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes, especially disposable devices with sky-high amounts of nicotine, have been flying off the shelves in recent years, with sales ballooning more than 46 percent during the Covid pandemic, according to a CDC report
Flavored vapes have become staggeringly popular. A 2022 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that 85 percent of students who vape use flavored e-cigarettes, most commonly fruit, candy, dessert, and mint flavors.
A study from Ohio State University also found that 40 percent of young people would quit vaping if flavored vapes were banned.
These vapes often get their sweet taste from added sugar and sugar alcohol, which has long been shown to cause tooth decay and gum disease.
A 2021 study in the journal Frontiers in Oral Health, for example, found that those who smoked or used e-cigarettes were more likely than non-smokers to have signs of gum disease.
Vape tongue comes with several unpleasant side effects, Dr Beggs said, including dry mouth, dehydration, and even a complete loss of taste.
‘It’s really, really really not good for your health,’ he said.
E-cigarettes, especially disposable devices with sky-high amounts of nicotine, have been flying off the shelves in recent years, with sales ballooning more than 46 percent during the Covid pandemic, according to a CDC report.
In fact, sales of disposable vapes more than doubled from January 2020 to December 2022, with nearly 52 percent of total e-cigarette unit sales being disposables last year.
It’s particularly popular in young people.
Over nine percent of American teens use e-cigarettes, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), compared to slightly less than eight percent in Britain.
Additionally, more than 14 percent of high school students in the US – about 2.14 million teens – currently use e-cigarettes.
If you have vape tongue, curbing the habit is the first step.
‘First thing, stop vaping or really cut down your vaping because that’s going to really help,’ Dr Beggs said.
While trying to kick the habit, focus on treating the symptoms. This includes drinking more water to prevent dehydration and prioritizing oral hygiene. Regularly brushing flossing, and cleaning your tongue with a tongue scraper can all help, Dr Beggs said.
Once you treat the symptoms, ultimately, the best thing to prevent vape tongue in the future is quitting or vaping less.
‘If this helps, cut down how much you’re vaping because you don’t want to get vaper’s tongue back,’ Dr Beggs said.
‘You want to taste your food’