Charter seeks to cut smoking and improve oral health
Dental practices across the country are being urged to play an active part in supporting Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-Free Generation.
The Charter has been developed to support the Scottish Government’s aim of creating a tobacco-free generation with a 5 per cent or less smoking prevalence rate among adults by 2034.
Smokers are at higher risk of developing tooth decay, tooth staining, gum disease, and in more severe cases, oral cancers. In particular, smoking causes approximately 65 per cent of mouth cancers in the UK; however, 91 per cent of all oral cancers are preventable.
Charlotte McDonough of ASH Scotland said: “Dental care providers have a wide range of skills and are the most knowledgeable about oral health. Dental teams are well placed to inform patients that stopping smoking is the best move they can make in support of their general wellbeing.”
ASH Scotland has worked with the Oral Health Foundation, British Dental Association and NHS Inform Scotland to design a stop smoking referral card.
Dental practices are being invited to sign the Charter and pilot the use of the new cards. The learning from this initiative will inform the roll-out of future initiatives to improve stop smoking support through dentistry.
The country’s new Oral Health Improvement Plan recognises that improving Scotland’s oral health cannot be tackled alone. Broader issues detrimental to oral health such as alcohol, drug, and tobacco use must be improved ambitiously, but practically.
Charlotte added: “These solutions require everyone to be involved: dental teams, third and independent sector organisations, schools, councils and Health and Social Care Partnerships. It’s an opportune time to introduce a card to signpost smokers to stop smoking services and make others aware of the impact smoking has on oral health.”
If your practice is in Highland, Lothian, Borders, Tayside or East Dunbartonshire and has not received an invitation to trial the card, you can opt in by contacting ASH Scotland: email@example.com
Any practice in Scotland can support the Charter by visiting www.ashscotland.org.uk/Charter