Conference reviews effects of tobacco products, underscores the importance of oral health

On September 14, 2018 AADR held the "Oral Health Effects of Tobacco Products: Science and Regulatory Policy" meeting in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

The papers resulting from this conference are published in the latest issue of Advances in Dental Research, an e-Supplement to the Journal of Dental Research (JDR).

As the primary route of delivery, the oral cavity is particularly sensitive to harmful exposure from tobacco products. Tobacco product use has been linked to oral cancer, periodontal disease and tooth loss. During the conference, researchers also presented data on the effect of tobacco use on immunity and the oral microbiome.

This conference was especially timely given the rapidly evolving landscape of tobacco use in the United States, which is simultaneously seeing the lowest level of adult cigarette use since 1965 and the emergence of novel nicotine delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes, for which little is currently known about the long-term health effects.

The goal of the conference was to bring the oral health effects of tobacco products to the attention of regulators, public health professionals, healthcare providers, researchers and ultimately, the public with the hope that the information presented would promote cessation or deter initiation among current or potential tobacco users, respectively.

The Oral Health Effects of Tobacco Products: Science and Regulatory Policy conference reviewed the effects tobacco products have on oral health, providing a robust scientific base that included the importance of oral health in overall health.

The conference, summarized in these proceedings, was organized into five sessions focused on tobacco products regulated by the FDA -- Perspectives on Tobacco Regulatory Policy, Combusted Tobacco (Inhaled and non-inhaled) Products, Non-combusted Tobacco (Smokeless Tobacco), Novel Nicotine Delivery Systems and In Vitro Models, Standards and Experimental Methods -- and concluded with a discussion of the role of dentistry in tobacco use cessation.

Although the adverse effects of conventional tobacco products on various oral health outcomes are well established, much remains unknown about the oral health implication of novel tobacco products such as electronic nicotine delivery systems. There is a great need for research on the clinical and public health effects of these products and their underlying mechanisms, and an urgent need for behavioral and regulatory science research around conventional and novel tobacco products."

Scott Tomar, guest editor, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA

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