The American Medical Association has gone on the record against vaping and are calling for a total ban of all vaping products and e-cigarettes that are unapproved by the FDA to be used as “cessation tools.”
On Monday, the organization published a press release announcing the call for a ban as well as new vaping-related policies.
The new policies include:
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;
Advocate for research funding to study the safety and effectiveness of e-cigarette and vaping products for tobacco cessation purposes;
Call for immediate and thorough study of the use of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment strategies for tobacco use disorder and nicotine dependence resulting from the use of non-combustible and combustible tobacco products in populations under the age of 18;
Actively collaborate with health care professionals, particularly pharmacists and other health care team members, to persuade retail pharmacies to immediately cease sales of tobacco products;
Advocate for diagnostic codes for e-cigarette and vaping associated illnesses, including pulmonary toxicity.
“The recent lung illness outbreak has alarmed physicians and the broader public health community and shined a light on the fact that we have very little evidence about the short- and long-term health consequences of e-cigarettes and vaping products,” said AMA President Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A. “It’s simple – we must keep nicotine products out of the hands of young people and that’s why we are calling for an immediate ban on all e-cigarette and vaping products from the market. With the number of young people using e-cigarettes spiking it is not only critical that there is research into nicotine addiction treatments for this population, but it is imperative that we continue efforts to prevent youth from ever using nicotine.”
The AMA’s full-court press on vaping comes as a wave of illnesses continue to afflict vape users across the country. The CDC announced in early November that vitamine e oil acetate has been found in a high number of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) cases.
Here is the CDC’s Latest Outbreak Information on vaping-related illnesses and deaths:
As of November 13, 2019, 2,172* cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) have been reported to CDC from 49 states (all except Alaska), the District of Columbia, and 2 U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands).
Forty-two deaths have been confirmed in 24 states and the District of Columbia (as of November 13, 2019):
Alabama, California (4), Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia (3), Illinois (4), Indiana (4), Kansas (2), Massachusetts (2), Michigan, Minnesota (3), Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon (2), Pennsylvania, Tennessee (2), Texas, Utah, and Virginia
The median age of deceased patients was 52 years and ranged from 17 to 75 years (as of November 13, 2019).
CDC continues to work closely with FDA, states, public health partners, and clinicians on this investigation.
Youth Vaping Epidemic
There is another vaping-related epidemic wreaking havoc across the country and it is affecting teens and adolescents at worrisome rates. Around 2.1 million adolescents were using e-cigarettes in 2017 alone. E-cigarette company Juul has been accused of creating the youth vaping epidemic by deceptively marketing their products to underage individuals. Juul denies these allegations.
Government officials have reportedly been meeting behind the scenes to discuss new regulations, potential bans on vaping products, specifically flavored ones. This week Trump is set to meet with the vaping industry executives and public health advocates as he decides whether or not to ban flavoring products.