DCI picks up challenge to tame Tobacco triggered tide of oral cancer

The Dental Education Regulator releases operational guidelines for establishment of Tobacco Cessation Centres in over 300 Dental Institutions

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New Delhi: Dental Council of India (DCI) takes up ‘challenge’ to tame the tide of oral cancer triggered by tobacco chewing. Tobacco use assuming epidemic proportions, the campaign towards cessation of oral cancer triggering habit is a must. In view of severity of evolving situation, DCI’s initiative is bound to go a long way in fighting this scourge. It is a prelude to setting up of Tobacco Cessation Services across 310 Dental Institutions in the country.

In the midst of high profile fitness Challenge involving PM Narendra Modi and ace cricketer Viral Kohli, DCI picking up the challenge posed by tobacco epidemic makes a great and noble action.

The regulator has based itself on the premise that Dental Health care providers have immense potential in preventing and controlling the rising trend of oral disease including cancer. For tackling alarming tobacco epidemic situation in India, Dental Council of India in joint collaboration with Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India and WHO-India Office has made the operational guidelines for “Establishment of Tobacco Cessation Centers in Dental Institutions – An integrated approach in India”. It was released on 6th June, 2018 by the Union Ministers of State, Health & Family Welfare, Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Anupriya Patel. Dignitaries from WHO-India Office also graced the occasion.

DCI is of the view that establishing Tobacco Cessation Centres in dental institutes would be a stepping stone towards oral cancer prevention in India. Robust implementation of this guideline will result in the availability of Tobacco Cessation Services across 310 Dental Institutions in the country and will reach millions of populations.

The global trends of oral diseases are witnessing a paradigm shift with the rising numbers of oral cancers. Dental Health Care Providers have an immense potential in preventing and controlling this rise that needs to be channelized strategically. There should be consistent identification, documentation and treatment of every tobacco user at each visit to the hospital/college. Effective treatment should be offered to all tobacco users.

Once embedded in the curriculum of dental colleges, the dental students will learn tobacco cessation counselling – an essential, additional skill that they can implement in their life-long dental practice. Moreover, this noble project will create job opportunity for dental graduates in all the dental institutions. The Dental Council of India can be instrumental in rendering behavioural and pharmacological interventions along with dental care to facilitate changes in tobacco users’ behaviour. It would also strengthen the roles and strategies of the Dental Council of India and National Tobacco Control Programme, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India in promoting tobacco control and rendering tobacco cession services. The Dental Council of India was represented by its Secretary, Professor, Dr. Sabyasachi Saha in this whole project.

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