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ADA announces interim policy on vaping

Association calls for total ban on vaping products not FDA-approved

December 16, 2019

By Jennifer Garvin

Dentists “must be prudent” in protecting patients from harmful products.

That was the overall message American Dental Association President Chad P. Gehani imparted following the Dec. 16 announcement that the Association has adopted a new interim policy on vaping. The interim policy calls for a total ban on all vaping products that aren’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration for tobacco cessation purposes.

The policy, which is in step with the American Medical Association’s new policies on vaping, states that the ADA will:

• Urgently advocate for regulatory, legislative, and/or legal action at the federal and/or state levels to ban the sale and distribution of all e-cigarette and vaping products, with the exception of those approved by the FDA for tobacco cessation purposes and made available by prescription only; and
• Advocate for research funding to study the safety and effectiveness of e-cigarettes and vaping products for tobacco cessation purposes and their effects on the oral cavity.

“While the long-term oral health effects of vaping are under scientific review, as health professionals we must be prudent in protecting consumers from potentially harmful products,” said Dr. Gehani in an ADA statement. “We will continue to advocate for additional research, but we must protect the health of our patients first and foremost. A ban such as this would ensure patient safety while allowing us to explore the impact of vaping products on oral health.”

The ADA has long advocated for the development of a body of scientific research examining the oral effects of both tobacco and non-tobacco nicotine delivery products as part of the ADA policy on tobacco use.

In addition to this interim policy, in September, the ADA House of Delegates passed a resolution stipulating that the word “vaping” and any other alternative nicotine delivery systems be added to the existing ADA policy focused on tobacco use prevention, research and regulation. The interim policy expands upon the Association’s 2016 tobacco policy, which calls for vaping devices to be regulated in the same manner as tobacco products.

Besides the AMA, several other organizations have created resources related to helping health care providers and patients learn more about vaping, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Lung Association. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has resources on lung injury and electronic cigarettes and vaping. The ADA encourages dentists and other health care providers to report potential vaping-associated respiratory illness by using the Food and Drug Administration's safety reporting portal.

For more information about the ADA’s advocacy efforts around vaping and tobacco products, visit ADA.org/vaping.