The American Medical Association (AMA) is calling for a total ban on all vaping products that are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for smoking cessation, citing the recent outbreak of vape-related lung injury that, as of Nov. 20, has affected 2,290 people across the country, killing 47.
There are currently no FDA-approved vaping products for smoking cessation.
“At the interim Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates, physicians, residents and medical students across the country voted to adopt policies on the AMA’s longtime efforts to prevent another generation from becoming dependent on nicotine,” the organization said in a news release.
The AMA also called for regulatory, legislative, and/or legal action at the federal and/or state levels to ban the sale and distribution of all vaping products with the exception of those approved by the FDA for tobacco cessation. Those products, the organization recommended, should be available only by prescription.
The AMA is also seeking to advocate for diagnostic codes for 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.”
In 2018, the AMA declared vaping an urgent public health epidemic, and has since pushed for stronger policies on tobacco and nicotine use. “For decades we have led the public health fight to combat the harmful effects of tobacco products, and we will continue to support policies and regulations aimed at preventing another generation from becoming dependent on nicotine,” said Dr. Harris.
Beasley Allen lawyers Joseph VanZandt and Sydney Everett, together with Mass Torts Section Head Andy Birchfield, are currently representing several individuals who are suing the top U.S. vape maker JUUL for the negative impact its products have had on their lives. On Oct. 7 they also filed lawsuits on behalf of school districts in three states, which seek to protect students and recover resources spent fighting the vaping epidemic.