Professionals - smoking cessation

Worldwide smoking is the single most important public health problem.

The detrimental effects of smoking and tobacco use on oral health are well recognized. Oral cancers and pre-cancers, periodontal diseases and poor wound healing are the most significant and serious effects of smoking on the mouth. In addition, staining of the teeth, soft tissue changes and halitosis are aesthetic and social impacts of smoking directly related to oral health.

Smoking is the largest single preventable cause of death and disability in the UK. Each year smoking kills 120,000 people, amounting to one in five of all deaths, and it costs the NHS £1700m annually on treating smoking related diseases.

More than 2000 cases of oral cancer are reported each year and smoking is a major aetiological factor. Besides oral cancer smoking and chewing tobacco are related to a number of other oral health problems, including periodontal disease.

Millions of otherwise apparently healthy smokers visit a dentist every year for a check-up or dental treatment. Members of the dental team can therefore play a major role in helping people give up smoking by referring smokers wanting to quit to their local service.

Prevention: Smoking cessation advice within the general dental practice

R. G. Watt and B. Daly. Brit Dent J 2003; 194: 665-668

This paper reviews and updates the evidence base for preventive action in general dental practice. One important, but underdeveloped area of prevention is smoking cessation. This paper aims to review the practical steps that the dental team can implement in smoking cessation activities within the clinical dental setting.

Smokeless tobacco cessation guidelines for health professionals in England

R. West, A. McNeill, M. Raw. Brit Dent J 2004; 196: 611-618

This paper provides a comprehensive review of evidence on the effectiveness of interventions by health professionals to encourage and assist smokeless tobacco users to stop. A series of recommendations are made concerning the recording of smokeless tobacco use in high-risk groups and interventions to promote cessation.

Tobacco and oral disease

N. W. Johnson, C. A. Bain and co-authors of the EU-Working Group on Tobacco and Oral Health Brit Dent J 2000; 189: 200-206

There is overwhelming evidence that tobacco usage produces harmful effects in the mouth. In this document the harmful effects of tobacco usage are briefly reviewed. The document is a revised version of a previously published report from the 'EU Working Group on Tobacco and Oral Health'.

Helping Smokers Stop. A Guide for the Dental Team

This HDA / BDA guide outlines practical ways dental practitioners and their teams can effectively support people to quit smoking. Published:11/06/2004

The Health Development Agency (HDA) is the national authority on what works to improve people's health and to reduce health inequalities. The HDA is in business to improve the public's health and does this by working with organisations and agencies to translate evidence into practice. The British Dental Association is the professional association and trade union for dentists in the UK.