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BDHF boss emphasises role of NHS stop smoking services

Posted by Yvonne Wallace

The chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) has reacted to news that less people are using NHS stop smoking services.

Dr Nigel Carter has stated that evidence suggests that people are more likely to give up the habit if they have support in one form or another and implied that NHS budget restraints could be to blame for a lack of uptake.

He said: “Cutbacks to the NHS mean there is a chance promotion of smoking cessation services have reduced and people aren’t aware of smoking cessation help as they used to be.”

His reaction today (October 31st) comes just before the start of Mouth Cancer Action Month, which lasts throughout the whole of November.

It is significant timing, as smoking is listed by the campaign as one of the main risk factors behind the disease.

The initiative also claims that around two-thirds of smokers want to give the habit up and is urging them to do so as part of their month-long drive.

Although the BDHF has said that the number of those using the NHS cessation helping is falling, it also revealed that the proportion of people actually successfully giving up is rising.

Dentists are also being urged to do their bit to help raise awareness of the risk factors associated with mouth cancer.

This can be achieved through a range of dental marketing products. For example, a dental poster which educates patients on the effects that smoking can have on their body could be displayed in the practice’s waiting room.

Not only does this help to encourage patients to improve their lifestyle in order to minimise their chances of catching the disease, but it also enforces the fact that their dentist is an expert on oral health-related matters – potentially strengthening the bond of trust and resulting in future recommendations.

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