ADA House of Delegates addresses vaping epidemic with resolution
September 25, 2019
Resolute: Members of Committee C — Dental Education, Science and Related Matters preside over the Sept. 7 reference committee hearing at the ADA FDI World Dental Congress in San Francisco that included resolutions related to vaping. From left, Drs. Rita M. Cammarata, Elizabeth A. Clemente, chair, and Dr. Paul M. Mullasseril listen to comments on resolutions placed before them. Photo by EZ Event Photography.
San Francisco — The ADA House of Delegates, at its annual session held during the ADA FDI World Dental Congress, called attention to the use of e-cigarette products becoming an oral health epidemic for teens and young adults, days before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and President Donald Trump announced plans to investigate and potentially curtail the distribution of flavored vaping products.
Vaping is the action or practice of inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device.
The House of Delegates passed Resolution 84H-2019 stipulating that the word “vaping” and any other alternative nicotine delivery systems be included in ADA policy, which includes the ADA policy on tobacco and non-tobacco products.
The resolution calls for a report on progress and a possible policy proposal from ADA agencies to be delivered to the 2020 House of Delegates.
The House of Delegates’ vote is not the only action of the ADA that speaks to its concern about vaping.
On Sept. 24, the ADA and more than 50 organizations led by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids commended the White House for its plan to remove all non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes from the market, including mint and menthol flavors. ADA President Chad P. Gehani said the ADA is a supporting a newly formed bipartisan caucus that addresses the issue.
“The American Dental Association supports regulating electronic nicotine delivery systems including: e-cigarettes, vapes, e-hookahs, vape pens, etc., in the same way that the Food and Drug Administration regulates cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and other tobacco products,” Dr. Gehani said. “While the long-term oral health effects of vaping are under scientific review, the ADA opposes any use of oral tobacco, including vaping nicotine from e-cigarettes, because it is harmful to health. The American Dental Association is proud to be a supporting organization of the newly formed bipartisan Congressional Caucus to End the Youth Vaping Epidemic to review needed solutions that will protect American youth from the dangers of vaping and nicotine addiction.”
On Sept. 9, the ADA and 44 other health groups asked members of Congress to cosponsor the Stopping Appealing Flavors in E-Cigarettes for Kids Act, or SAFE Kids Act. The bill would prohibit tobacco products other than cigarettes from containing flavors other than natural tobacco.
On Sept. 11, President Trump announced that his administration would seek to remove flavored e-cigarettes from the market. Federal health officials said that preliminary data showed that more than 1 in 4 high school students reported vaping this year, compared with 1 in 5 students in 2018.
In the meantime, the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that they are “working closely with state and local health officials to investigate incidents of severe respiratory illnesses associated with the use of vaping products as quickly as possible,” according to the FDA’s website. More than 530 people have developed possible lung illnesses and seven people had died as of Sept. 19 after using e-cigarettes, according to the CDC.
On Sept. 16, the CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center to “enhance the inter-agency response to the current investigation into cases of lung injury associated with e-cigarette product use, or vaping,” according to a CDC news release. “CDC’s activation of the EOC allows the agency to provide increased operational support for the response to meet the outbreak’s evolving challenges. Agency subject matter experts will continue to lead the CDC response with enhanced support from additional CDC and EOC staff … While this investigation is ongoing, if individuals are concerned about these specific health risks, they should consider refraining from using e-cigarette or vaping products.”
The FDA created a Consumer Update (ADA.org/FDAconsumerupdate) to provide information for consumers to help protect themselves, as well as a new webpage, Lung Illnesses Associated with Use of Vaping Products (ADA.org/FDAvaping), that provides an overview of these incidents and FDA’s actions to date, as well as recommendations for consumers, health care providers and state health departments.
In 2016, the FDA extended its tobacco regulatory authorities to other products meeting the definition of a tobacco product in what is called the Deeming Rule. This authority now includes, but is not limited to, electronic nicotine delivery systems such as electronic cigarettes, as well as all cigars, pipes, and hookahs.
Other organizations have created resources related to helping health care providers and patients learn more about vaping, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (ADA.org/AAPvaping) and the American Lung Association (lung.org/stop-smoking/vape-talk/). The CDC also has resources at CDC.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html and for general information on e-cigarettes or vaping visit: cdc.gov/e-cigarettes.
Follow all of the ADA’s advocacy efforts at ADA.org/advocacy.