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Policies and Recommendations on Tobacco Use

Dentist’s Role in Preventing Tobacco Use

The ADA supports professional education related to the importance of primary prevention of tobacco use.

The ADA urges its members to become fully informed about tobacco cessation intervention techniques to effectively educate their patients to overcome their addiction to tobacco.

The ADA supports training and education for dental professionals to ensure that all clinicians in the United States have the knowledge, skills and support systems necessary to inform the public about the health hazards of tobacco products and to provide effective tobacco cessation strategies.

The ADA urges dentists and health organizations to provide educational materials on tobacco use prevention or cessation to patients and consumers developed by credible and trustworthy sources with no ties to the tobacco industry or its affiliates.

Access and Prevention

The ADA continue to educate and inform its membership and the public about the many health hazards attributed to the use of traditional and non-traditional tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, e-cigarette cartridges, snus, dissolvable tobacco, tobacco gels, and other products made or derived from tobacco.

The ADA encourages its members and dental societies to collaborate with students, parents, school officials, and members of the community to establish tobacco-free schools.

The ADA does not consider marketing some tobacco products as safer or less harmful to an individual’s health than others to be a viable public health strategy to reduce the death and disease associated with tobacco use.

Government Affairs

The ADA should give priority to the following when advancing public policies to prevent tobacco use:

  1. Protecting and enhancing state and federal regulatory authority to ban or otherwise prevent the use of traditional and non-traditional tobacco products;
  2. Banning the sale of traditional and non-traditional tobacco products in all venues, including through vending machines and the internet;
  3. Levying significant excise taxes on traditional and non-traditional tobacco products;
  4. Setting age restrictions for purchasers of traditional and non-traditional tobacco products;
  5. Requiring oral health warning statements and graphic images on traditional and non-traditional tobacco products;
  6. Barring companies from marketing some traditional and non-traditional tobacco products as being less harmful to the oral health than others;
  7. Regulating exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS);
  8. Banning all forms of traditional and non-traditional tobacco product advertising and marketing (including bans on free sampling);
  9. Imposing licensure requirements for traditional and non-traditional tobacco product retailers;
  10. Prohibiting the use of traditional and non-traditional tobacco products on public and private property, including government buildings and school campuses;
  11. Requiring third-party payers to cover professionally administered tobacco cessation services (e.g., cessation counseling, prescription medications, etc.) as an essential plan benefit.

The ADA should encourage federal research agencies to develop the body of credible, peer-reviewed scientific literature examining, among other things:

  1. The immediate and long-term effects of traditional and non-traditional tobacco product use on oral health;
  2. The viability of new cessation products and strategies;
  3. The validity of claims that some traditional and non-traditional tobacco products are less harmful to the oral cavity than others.

ADA House of Delegates
Adopted: October 2016


Prepared by: Division of Government and Public Affairs
Last Updated: February 24, 2017