Whether smoked, vaped or chewed, tobacco products are bad for your health and for your teeth. Negative effects of smoking and vaping include cardiovascular disease, increased risk for both oral and lung cancer, gum disease resulting in tooth loss, stained teeth, longer healing after oral surgery, and bad breath.

The long-term safety of vaping is not yet known, although initial data indicates that vaping damages cells and lowers certain enzymes important in maintaining tissue health and preventing cancer. Vaping also can increase the risk of seizure, tachycardia, disorientation, airway resistance, congestive heart failure, pneumonia, and second-degree burns from faulty devices.

Smoking and vaping can lower salivary output over time. Saliva is required to counteract the effects of acid in food and drinks. As a result, some heavy smokers and vapers can still get decay even if they are brushing well.

What you can do: Quitting or not starting at all are the best ways to decrease your risk. Visit QuitNow BC for help; it's a free, confidential, quit-smoking program of the Government of British Columbia, delivered by the BC Lung Association. The BC Healthy Living Alliance also has information and helpful resources.