The Dental Council of India (DCI) has directed 310 dental colleges across the country to set-up Tobacco Cessation Centres (TCCs) with a vision to help build the capacity of aspiring dental students and to help tobacco users quit it
The need for such centres has been felt lately in view of rising oral cancer cases in India. Presently, Institute of Behavioural, Allied Sciences (IHBAS), Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute (VPCI) and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital have three TCC centres in Delhi.
This program is actively targeted at younger persons using tobacco, women users, rural populations and the economically underprivileged people.
The Tobacco Cessation Centres in the dental college hospitals would help provide both the needed training to the students and also to cater to the cessation needs of the general population.
According to the Dental Council of India, there should be consistent identification, documentation and treatment of every tobacco user at each visit to the hospital before effective treatment offered to them.
Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Mansingh Pawar, Dean of Government Dental College, said, “This is a good move. As when patients come to the dental hospitals, a dentist knows whether a person uses tobacco by taking examining their teeth. They are also aware about the early symptoms of oral cancer. If patients are diagnosed early we can help reduce the chances of that patient from having cancer. This will greatly benefit the patient.”
Dr Pawar added, “If the patients are detected with the pre-cancerous symptoms they will be sent to counselling and the cessation counsellors can help them quit smoking. We detected at least 20-25 patients with early symptoms of oral cancer.”
Among various types of cancer, the incidence of oral cancer accounts for 45-48 per cent of cases.
In December 2017, a Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) conducted in Maharashtra revealed, prevalence of tobacco use among age group of 15 to 17 has increased from 2.9 per cent to 5.5 per cent. One in every 3 adult men and one in every 6 adult women use tobacco
Khaini and gutka remain the most commonly used tobacco products in the state as 15.5 per cent of the adults use khaini and 8.6 per cent of adults use gutka. The age of initiation has also gone low, which is an alarming situation.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 40 per cent of cancer cases in India caused due to tobacco use.