Help your patients with Stoptober

Get involved in Stoptober, which launches in October

Stoptober – Public Health England’s (PHE) 28 day mass quit smoking campaign – will be launching again in October.

PHE is urging dental professionals to engage in Stoptober by offering ‘very brief advice’ to smokers using a ‘30 second approach;’ a technique developed by The National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT), and further referenced by PHE in its resources for dental professionals.

‘It is a sad reality that one in two of us will get a form of cancer at some point in our lives with the likelihood of contracting mouth cancer heightened by excess drinking and smoking,’ Sara Hurley, chief dental officer, NHS England, said.

‘Stoptober is another great opportunity for dentists to reinforce prevention messages and encourage patients to take up Stoptober.

‘The dental team can motivate their patients by highlighting all the oral health benefits of stopping smoking – reducing risk of tooth loss, halitosis and gum disease – signposting to local stop smoking services and by providing that extra layer of support and encouragement to patients trying to give up.’

The statistics

The recent statistics have shown 2,790 new cases of oral cancer were diagnosed in England in 2013, on average an estimated 65% (70% in males and 55% in females) of oral cancer cases are linked to smoking tobacco.

When compared with no advice to smokers, recommending treatment or support using very brief advice has been shown to increase the odds of quitting by 68% and 217% respectively.

Very brief advice includes three simple steps:

  1. Ask, establish and record smoking status
  2. Advise, on the personal benefits of quitting in light of oral health findings
  3. Act, offer help and signpost to Stoptober and local stop smoking services.

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