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Dental clinics to act as counselling centres for tobacco users

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:04pm

New Delhi (PTI): Addicted to tobacco? A visit to a nearby dental clinic might soon help you ease out your dependence on nicotine.

As part of an anti-tobacco initiative by the Indian Dental Association (IDA) at least 5,000 dental clinics across India will be enabled to double up as counselling and intervention centres for those hooked to tobacco.

The initiative has been launched so as to catch patients at the right time and pursue a “scientific approach” to help them get rid of their addiction, the IDA said.

“For the past 30 years we have seen loads of money invested into awareness campaigns not yielding results, and the habit of tobacco consumption has gone up 60 per cent in the last decade itself,” said IDA Secretary General Dr Ashoke Dhoble.

“As telling people about health hazards associated with tobacco has not helped, we have decided to address the difficulty faced by people in quitting consumption,” he said.

As part of the programme, applications have been invited from volunteering dentists to spot such cases and act as interventionists.

Dentists are the first people tobacco addicts approach seeking help for addressing foul mouth smell and discolouring of teeth. So we thought they could act as interventionists and work at the pre-addiction stage,” Dhoble told PTI.

The dental association will be launching 5,000 (Tobacco Intervention Initiative CentresTIIC) across the country in the next two years. Fifty-six TIICs were set up across Maharashtra this week.

The programme will require voluntary dentists to clear an online exam to test whether they have sound knowledge of the problem before giving them certificates to operate intervention centres and on clearing the exam they will receive an orientation at NIMHANS, Bangalore on how to go about the process.

“The dentists, besides touching on the issues of cancer and heart problems for tobacco consumers, will focus on counselling them to end their addiction,” Dhoble said.

The members of the initiative will be allowed access to a central website, where they can register their observations, compile data and seek help from experiences of other members.

Source :- Dental clinics to act as counselling centres for tobacco users

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