The Facts: Electronic Cigarettes

By Tobacco Free Florida

Why Doctor Intervention is Important

  • Electronic cigarettes – also known as e-cigarettes, e-cigs, vape pens and vapes – have not been around long enough to determine their long-term health effects.
  • Studies have found harmful chemicals in some e-cigarettes. These substances include traces of metal, volatile organic compounds and nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic.1

 Not a Proven Cessation Tool

  • E-cigarettes are not approved quit aids by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). There are seven USFDA-approved cessation aids and medications that are proven safe and effective when used as directed.2
  • Tobacco Free Florida offers free cessation services that can increase your patients’ chances of quitting by five times.3
  • These services provide free USFDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy, if medically appropriate and while supplies last.
  • Floridians who want to quit smoking are encouraged to find the cessation service that works best for them at

Dual Use with Conventional Cigarettes

  • Approximately three out of four e-cigarette users continue to smoke conventional cigarettes as well, which is called “dual use.”4
  • Dual use is not an effective way to safeguard one’s health.5 Even people who smoke fewer than five cigarettes a day may show signs of early heart disease.6

 E-cigarettes and Youth

  • Monthly poison control calls about exposure to liquid nicotine have increased dramatically. In just a few years, calls per month increased from one to 215. 7
  • In Florida, the number of high school students who were current e-cigarette users tripled from 5.4 percent in 2013 to 15.8 percent in 2015.8
  • There is evidence that adolescents who use e-cigarettes are more likely to start smoking cigarettes. 9,10
  • Adolescent bodies are more sensitive to nicotine, and adolescents are more easily addicted than adults.11 Because the adolescent brain is still developing, nicotine use during adolescence can disrupt the formation of brain circuits that control susceptibility to addiction.12

For more information on how to help your patients quit tobacco, visit


1 Cheng T. Chemical Evaluation of Electronic Cigarettes. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2014;23,ii11–7. 23 May 2014.
2 “Five Keys for Quitting Smoking.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d. Web.
3 Professional Data Analysts. “BTFF Tobacco Cessation Evaluation FY15 Synthesis Report.” 15 February  2015.
4 King, Patel, Nguyen, and Dube. Trends in Awareness and Use of Electronic Cigarettes among U.S. Adults, 2010 -2013 Nicotine Tob Res ntu191 first published online September 19, 2014 doi:10.1093/ntr/ntu191.
5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Transcript for CDC press briefing: CDC launches powerful new ads in “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign.” 26 March 2015. Web. Last Assessed 24 July 2015.
6 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking — 50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014.
7 Chatham-Stephens, Kevin, et al. “Notes from the Field: Calls to Poison Centers for Exposures to Electronic Cigarettes — United States, September 2010–February 2014.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 04 Apr. 2014.
8 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS), Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology, 2015.
9 Thomas A Wills, Rebecca Knight, James D Sargent, Frederick X Gibbons, Ian Pagano, Rebecca J Williams Longitudinal study of e-cigarette use and onset of cigarette smoking among high school students in Hawaii. Tob Control doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2015-052705.
10 Coleman BN, Apelberg BJ, Ambrose BK, et al. Association between electronic cigarette use and openness to cigarette smoking among US young adults. Nicotine Tob Res. 2015; 17(2):212-218.
11 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010.
12 England, L. et al. Nicotine and the Developing Human: A Neglected Element of the E -cigarette Debate. Am J Prev Med. 2015 Mar 7. [Epub ahead of print].


Course Codes, CE Verification, CE Reporting … OH MY!

By Brooke Martin, FDC Meeting Coordinator


What do all the different codes for the Florida Dental Convention (FDC) mean? For FDC2016, we added a few more course codes to help you better understand the continuing education (CE) category of the courses you are registering for. So, here is how it all breaks down:

C: Clinical lecture, CE approved
W: Hands-on Workshop, CE approved
Non-clinical, Non-credit course
Exhibit Hall course, CE approved
Exhibit Hall course, Non-credit course
Practice Management, CE approved

All CE-approved courses taken at FDC2016 will be automatically reported to CE Broker for Florida-licensed attendees by July 16, 2016. EN and NC course topics are not eligible for CE credit for license renewal in Florida. However, these courses are offered to provide tools and knowledge to help with your professional success.

Only the courses that fall under Florida statutes of practice management are coded as PM. The statute specifies that approved practice management courses include “principles of ethical practice management, provides substance abuse, effective communication with patients, time management and burnout prevention instruction.” This criteria is set forth in paragraph (C) of subsection 466.0135 F.S.


So, now on to the really important stuff — CE verification and reporting. You must follow the steps below at FDC2016 to receive CE credit for your courses:

  • Scan your badge upon entering and exiting the course.
  • Be present in a course a minimum of 50 of the 60 minutes of the course to receive 1 hour of CE credit.

The system will calculate the amount of time you are in the course and award the credit appropriately. Then, all eligible credit for Florida-licensed dentists and hygienists will be automatically reported to CE Broker by July 16, 2016. But remember, EN and NC courses will not be reported. ​


Your CE certificate will be automatically emailed to you on June 20, 2016. If you need to obtain your CE certificate onsite, you are able to print your CE certificate any time after the end of the course at the CE stations. The stations are located in the Exhibit Hall and on the classroom level though Saturday at 2 p.m. You also can print your certificate for FREE only at after the convention.

Questions? Contact Brooke Martin at 800.877.9922 or

HIPAA Audits: Why Dental Organizations Shouldn’t Ignore the Audits

By Dr. Danika Brinda, CEO, Planet HIPAA

2016 is going to be a monumental year for HIPAA compliance. The Phase 2 HIPAA audits will be starting, and increased HIPAA enforcement is a guarantee. So far in 2016, we have seen multiple fines and HIPAA compliance enforcement that are setting the stage for the remainder of 2016. For many years, HIPAA compliance has been pushed off and ignored; however, if the first 2 months of 2016 is telling the story, now is the time to ensure your dental practice has established proper policies, procedures and practices for HIPAA compliance. Don’t get tangled up in a HIPAA audit with no confidence in your dental practice’s compliance with HIPAA!

It is easy to think that your practice is too small to get selected for a HIPAA audit or that audits will focus on large, integrated health care systems. However, looking at the findings from the pilot audits indicate that dental practices are just as desirable for a HIPAA audit as any other type of organization.

Some key findings from the HIPAA Pilot Audits are:

  • Smaller organizations tended to struggle with HIPAA compliance more than larger organizations.
  • The most common finding was that the entity was “unaware of the requirement.”
  • Of the total health care providers audited, NONE of them were 100 percent HIPAA compliant.
  • Incomplete implementation of the regulations was cited as a top finding from the audits.

We are at a stage with HIPAA compliance that the “I didn’t know” or “I was unaware” is no longer going to be an acceptable reason for non-compliance. In the past year, numerous data breaches were reported to the Department of Health and Human Services. In some of the dental data breaches reported, more than 500 individuals were impacted!

  • 2,000 individuals impacted when an unencrypted portable device was stolen from a dental provider.
  • 3,200 individuals impacted after an unencrypted server was stolen during a burglary of a dental office.
  • 7,400 individuals impacted when dental records at an off-site storage were released by the storage company to unauthorized individuals.

With proper oversight of HIPAA and appropriate physical, technical and administrative safeguards, these data breaches could have been avoided.

Another common finding is false security that the vendor of your practice management system or electronic health record has all aspects of HIPAA compliance covered. Even when a third-party solution manages a system, not all aspects of HIPAA compliance are met. Additionally, you may find that some functionality of your systems does not actually meet HIPAA compliance. For example, your systems should be able to automatically log out after a specified time of inactivity. Your vendor may be the group responsible for creating the functionality, but you are responsible for the implementation in your dental organization. If your software system doesn’t have the functionality to automatically log out of the system with inactivity, you may be out of compliance with HIPAA. Don’t assume that compliance is met — verify it!

Don’t wait until a HIPAA audit comes to your dental practice to know that you are out of compliance. Immediate action is needed if you are not confident in your HIPAA compliance. HIPAA takes more than just putting a HIPAA manual on the shelf in your dental practice. Make sure your organization takes the steps NOW and prevents a bad outcome from a HIPAA audit or showing up on the HIPAA Wall of Shame.


Dr. Danika Brinda is the CEO of Planet HIPAA and has more than 12 years of experience in health care privacy and security practices. She also is a nationally recognized speaker on a variety of health care privacy and security topics, and specializes in helping dental organizations implement a HIPAA-compliance program.

This article was first published on Planet HIPAA on April 18, 2016.

Why Should New Dentists Attend FDC2016?

The FDC department asked Dr. Robin Nguyen a few questions regarding our annual convention.​

1. As a new dentist, why do you attend the Florida Dental Convention (FDC)?
I attend FDC because of the numerous resources the meeting provides. There’s always a wide array of continuing education (CE) courses to choose from and the Exhibit Hall is a great place to try out the newest dental products available. Aside from the educational component of the meeting, there are a lot of fun social activities to network with colleagues, meet new dentists and reconnect with old friends.

2. What do you see as the biggest takeaway from the convention?
The biggest takeaway from FDC would be the potential new relationships with other dentists and exhibitors — the value in those relationships is priceless.

3. What would you say to other new dentists thinking about attending FDC? Why should they attend?
As a new dentist, transitioning from school to real life can be challenging. What we learned in dental school is the foundation that we build upon as we continue in our profession. The FDC has numerous CE possibilities that will undoubtedly enhance our skill sets. It is a great place to meet with other new dentists that may face similar challenges and to learn from each other.

4. What is your favorite part about attending FDC?
My favorite part about attending FDC is the networking possibilities. It is a great place to reconnect with your dental colleagues and to meet new dentists.

Are you a new dentist or dental student? FDC2016 offers a one-and-a-half day New Dentist Program exclusively for new dentists (graduate of 2006 or later) and dental students. Click here to learn more about the New Dentist Program, “Success is your Future: The New Dentist Guide for Success (C63).”

FDC2016 will be held June 16-18, 2016 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando. FDA members receive FREE pre-registration. Click here to register today!