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ADA supports regulating vaping devices and liquids

Legislation would also raise raising minimum age for purchasing nontobacco nicotine products

November 19, 2019

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — The American Dental Association is reaffirming its support for legislation aimed at regulating vaping devices and liquids in the same manner the Food and Drug Administration regulates cigarettes and other tobacco products.

In a Nov. 18 letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the ADA urged the legislators to favorably consider HR 2339, the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019.

If enacted, this bill would:

• Require FDA to implement the graphic health warnings for cigarette packages (which includes an oral cancer image) within 12 months.
• Extend the federal tobacco advertising and sales requirements to vaping devices and other types of nicotine products.
• Regulate vaping devices and other products covered by the Tobacco Control Act in the same manner as cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.
• Raise the minimum age for purchasing nontobacco nicotine products to 21.
• Prohibit non-face-to-face sales of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and e-cigarette accessories.
• Prohibit all characterizing flavors of tobacco products, including menthol.

In supporting the legislation, ADA President Chad P. Gehani and Executive Director Kathleen T. O’Loughlin told lawmakers that tobacco use is “causally associated” with higher rates of tooth decay, receding gums, periodontal disease, mucosal lesions, bone damage, tooth loss, jaw bone loss and more.

“While the oral health effects of vaping are not fully studied, there is some evidence that smokers who also used e-cigarettes were at increased risk for not being able to quit smoking, compared with smokers who never used e-cigarettes,” Drs. Gehani and O’Loughlin wrote.

In 2016, the ADA House of Delegates adopted a policy stating that 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.”

For more information on the ADA’s advocacy efforts, visit ADA.org/tobacco.