‘Scary’ vape tongue symptoms to watch out for as UK smoking ban passes next stage

By Staff 7 Min Read

With new proposed plans creating new on-the-spot £100 fines for retailers who sell vapes to under-18s, we take a look at some of the worrying symptoms of ‘vape tongue’ you shouldn’t ignore

So-called ‘vape tongue’ is just another reason you might want to consider giving up vaping.

Under the government’s proposed new plans, The Tobacco and Vaping Bill, trading standards officers would get new powers to issue on-the-spot £100 fines to retailers in a bid to stop them selling tobacco or vapes to under-18s, and there would also be new restrictions on flavours, packaging and the sale of vapes, to make them less appealing to children.

The new bill, which has passed its second reading in the Commons by 383 votes to 67, would also prevent anyone born after January 1 2009 from legally buying cigarettes. The Bill will now proceed to committee stage, where it will be discussed further.

Disposable vapes will also be banned from April 2025, in a bid to stop youngsters becoming hooked, under a separate environmental legislation. But harmful lithium batteries and addiction aren’t the only concerns.

Despite believed to be significantly less harmful than tobacco, worries have been significantly rising for e-cigarettes, or vapes, in recent years. They do expose users to some toxins, can be addictive – and can lead to an uncomfortable phenomenon known as ‘vape tongue’.

Previously, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed the importance of maintaining vapes for adult smokers, as they have been hailed as a key component in helping people quit smoking. In the past 20 years or so, vaping has risen in popularity as an alternative to smoking tobacco. However, they aren’t entirely without risk, and it’s not yet sure what the long-term damage vaping may have. Recently a dentist warned what vape tongue can lead to.

Dr Stewart Beggs, a Cosmetic and Restorative Dentist working in London, took to TikTok to caption his video: “Do you vape? You might have vaper’s tongue.” He explained: “Vape tongue is when you start to lose your taste because you’ve been vaping so much, and this is really on the rise because of the popularity of these disposable vapes which have all these ridiculous flavours.”

Symptoms of ‘vaper’s tongue’ include a numb tongue, failure to taste your vape flavour or even experiencing an unpleasant taste from your vape. It can even impact your taste generally, meaning you cannot taste food properly. According to Fisher Pointe Dental: “Vaping can also cause a stuffy nose and negatively impact your ability to smell, and being able to smell goes hand in hand with your ability to taste. People end up absolutely caning these vapes and it causes such a massive increase in nicotine and a really really dry mouth that you lose your sense of taste completely sometimes.”

But he did share that it’s not all doom and gloom, as when you “start to cut down the vaping”, your taste comes back – but he claimed it’s: “Really, really, really not good for your health”, so it’s best to not vape in the first place.

He then shared that in order to get rid of it, the best thing is to quit or cut down, also explaining that it can be linked to “dehydration”, adding people should drink more water to get rid of the dry mouth. “Clean your tongue, brush your teeth, floss, use a tongue scraper”, he also recommended.

In the comments, people were shocked that vaping could cause you to not be able to taste things properly, with one saying: “That’s scary.” Someone else wrote: “I don’t have that but the rest of my mouth is dry and peeling 24/7. I assume that’s from vaping.”

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