Role of Dental Institutions in Tobacco Cessation in India: Current Status and Future Prospects


Tobacco abuse is a major preventable cause of premature death and disease, including various cancers. TheGlobal Adult Tobacco Survey India (GATS) 2009-10 revealed that more than one-third of adults use tobacco inone form or the other. Nearly two in five smokers and smokeless tobacco users made attempts to quit the habitin the past 12 months. Tobacco dependence is a chronic condition characterized by susceptibility of relapseover years. It can be well handled by sustained professional support from health care providers mainly throughbehavioral counseling and pharmacotherapy. Dental professionals can play a pivotal role in diagnosing andeffectively managing tobacco dependence. Dental Institutions have rapidly grown in last two decades across thecountry and so has the curriculum been adapted to improve student competencies to accommodate changingdisease patterns and technological advances, but not in regard to tobacco cessation. Untapped dental manpowerlike undergraduates, dental hygienists and other paramedical staff need effective training to be more penetrative.The present review paper explores the potential role of dental training institutions and recommends variousapproaches to counter public health jeopardy of tobacco related diseases.