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Letters: Kick the habit

March 04, 2013

I found Dr. Todd Beck's piece on the importance of the dental teams' efforts to help their tobacco-using patients quit highly relevant ("Becoming Experts at Helping Our Patients Quit," Feb. 4 ADA News).

As a former smoker, he understood how difficult it is to break a tobacco addiction, and why it took on extra importance to him. Given the changing roles of dentists, and their increasing need to interrelate with other health professions, tobacco education must be included in the dental and dental hygiene school curricula. In my mind, just as CPR courses are mandated by states to save lives, courses on tobacco issues should also be mandated; as possibly more lives might be saved or influenced by dental professionals that are knowledgeable and comfortable discussing this subject with patients.

The ADA can take the lead in this area by providing courses at every annual meeting for the entire dental team.

Nevin Zablotsky, D.M.D.
South Burlington, Vt.