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The Tooth of the Matter

Ohio State University researchers looked at the impact of vaping on the mouth – and managed to come up with the most ludicrous conclusion it would be possible to make

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"We chose subjects for the study who do everything right," said Purnima Kumar, a professor at the College of Dentistry at The Ohio State University. Everyone that is except for the selection of the research team that managed to conclude that it is better to smoke than to vape.

Kumar, a professor at the College of Dentistry at The Ohio State University and one of the study’s authors, said: "[Our subjects] eat healthy, they have normal body weight, they have no systemic disease. I am an oral surgeon, and when these patients sit in my chair, I wouldn't be clued in to think that something is the matter. It is all happening at the molecular level."

‘It’ is the latest thing for these desperate fund-grabbing researchers to grasp for.

"When we looked into it more, we thought to ourselves, 'wait a minute, are we asking them to quit smoking using another device that could impact the mouth? So, we started studying e-cigarettes."

What on earth could have been the reason to suddenly consider switching their research efforts from looking at cigarettes and the effects of smoking? There isn’t one, there are 3.1 million of them.

Kumar has applied for and received a five-year, $3.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research to study vaping in the “development of periodontitis, a polymicrobial infection that causes destruction of tooth-supporting structures and results in tooth loss.

Usage is “rapidly rising” with teens and young adults, so his application claimed, due to a “perception” that vaping is safer. Not that vaping ‘is’ safer, according to Kumar, it’s just thought to be safer by end users.

Kumar waxed lyrical: "Healthy commensal bacteria in the mouth look beautiful, almost like popcorn festoons for Christmas trees, but by the time you start using an e-cigarette, they look like they have been encased in concrete. Suddenly, your body sees these bacteria cloaked in the biofilm layer and it doesn't recognize them as friends anymore. When we looked at the host immune response, we found a huge proinflammatory response — it was absolutely off the charts."

He’s now demanding that politicians act decisively to clamp down on this pernicious vaping thing: “If we can see changes in people who are otherwise healthy and have nothing wrong with them, then we should start seriously considering why would you put their lives and their well-being at risk."

Signing off with a touch of insanity, Kumar added: “You're not doing yourself any favours by using vaping to quit smoking.”


  • “Adverse effects of electronic cigarettes on the disease-naive oral microbiome” by Ganesan, Dabdoub, Nagaraja, Scott, Pamulapati, Berman, Shields, Wewers, and Kumar – [link]
Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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