Today is World No Tobacco Day. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) supports initiatives to address the harmful effects of tobacco use. It negatively contributes to the growing heart disease epidemic, a systemic health condition. General dentists play a pivotal role in identifying the harmful effects and offering patients referrals and cessation support.
As highlighted in the March 2017 issue of AGD Impact, here are five ways that dentists can initiate the conversation with their patients:
- Carefully word your medical history form/questionnaire.
Ask patients if they use any form of tobacco including cigarettes, cigars, chew, snuff, dip, vape, pipe, e-cigarettes or hookahs.
- Thoroughly review and update each patient’s completed questionnaire at every appointment.
Upon a follow-up appointment, ask the patient to update previous medical history sheet.
- Stock up on educational and materials, pertinent articles and literature about tobacco use and cessation in your office.
Keep smoking prevention and cessation brochures, flyers, fact-sheets, etc., in the office waiting room.
- Refer patients to external experts.
Keep expert references on hand to refer patients interested in learning more about becoming smoke-free. The CDC’s Tips campaign is a useful campaign with resources for both the medical professional and the consumer. Learn more.
- Get involved in legislative and community efforts.
AGD has adopted a resolution that addresses supporting legislation for cessation. Reach out to your local legislators to support more laws that help people live more healthy and smoke-free lifestyles.
About the Academy of General Dentistry
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is a professional association of more than 40,000 general dentists dedicated to providing quality dental care and oral health education to the public. Founded in 1952, AGD is the largest association for general dentists in the world and serves the needs and represents the interests of general dentists. For more information about AGD, visit, www.agd.org.
About World No Tobacco Day
In 1988, the World Health Organization (WHO) passed resolution WHA42.19 designating May 31, World No Tobacco Day. Since the passing of the resolution, the organization and its partners continue to highlight a theme that focuses on the correlation relationship between tobacco use and poor health outcomes. This year, the organization’s World No Tobacco Day theme, Tobacco and Heart Disease, takes an approach to engage global conversations surrounding systemic health conditions and tobacco use.