Dental Hygienist: Tobacco Cessation: The Dental Health Professional’s Role, 2nd Edition

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Tobacco use is an enormous problem and health burden for people worldwide. Although the prevalence of smoking in the United States has declined slightly in recent years, there has been an increase in the use of smokeless tobacco products. As a result, along with targeting individuals who use smokeless tobacco products, healthcare professionals must redouble their efforts to intervene with all patients who continue to smoke. The purpose of this basic-level course is to provide dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants with background and guidelines for tobacco interventions in clinical practice. The course will discuss the prevalence of smoking of combustible tobacco and use of smokeless tobacco products as well as the health risks of tobacco use and tobacco exposure. The effects of nicotine on human physiology and their implications for nicotine dependency and withdrawal will be examined. Techniques for tobacco intervention will be described in detail, including the pharmacotherapy used in tobacco cessation both for the smoking of combustible tobacco and the use of smokeless tobacco. 

Course Objectives: 
  1. Describe the prevalence of smoking in the United States. 
  2. Identify the health risks of smoking. 
  3. Explain the effects of nicotine, including nicotine dependence and withdrawal associated with smoking. 
  4. Outline intervention techniques for combustible tobacco use and dependence. 
  5. Describe the use of pharmacotherapy in smoking cessation.
  6. Describe the increased use of smokeless tobacco, its risks, interventions, and pharmacotherapy.


About the Author:

Kathleen Vendrell Rankin, DDS, received her dental degree from Baylor College of Dentistry in 1977. She is a professor and associate chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences at Baylor College of Dentistry, Texas A&M Health Science Center. Dr. Rankin received her certification as a tobacco treatment specialist from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and is currently a tobacco cessation counselor and director of Baylor Tobacco Treatment Services. She is the author of “Dentist Saves Patient’s Life! Early Oral Cancer Detection and Tobacco Use Cessation,” the American Dental Association’s tobacco cessation module that was presented at 64 U.S. sites. Dr. Rankin served as the ADA reviewer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services publication Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: Clinical Practice Guideline. She has published and lectured extensively on tobacco-attributable disease and tobacco cessation and has received long-term grant funding for the dissemination of tobacco cessation education for dental professionals.

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