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Great American Smokeout is Nov. 21

Nov. 21 is the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout observance, and smokers can use the annual observance as a learningopportunity.

“Dentists are uniquely positioned to provide education to their patients on how smoking affects overall health, but also how ithas serious affects on their oral health,” said Dr. Scott Tomar, professor in the Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science at the University of Florida College of Dentistry.

“Most people know that smoking raises the risk of lung cancer or other diseases, but they may not realize that it is related to periodontitis, oral cancer, and poor prognosis for implants and periodontal treatment. Quitting smoking is one of the most effective ways to help improve oral health.”

Dr. Tomar, a consultant to the ADA councils on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations and Scientific Affairs, stressed that almost 50 years since the first U.S. surgeon’s general report on smoking and health in 1964, 1 in 5 Americans still smokes.

Resources, such as quit lines or other education tools and local tobacco cessation classes are helpful for those who want to quit smoking.

The ACS marks the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November each year by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day.

According to the ACS, tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S., As of 2010, there were also 13.2 million cigar smokers and 2.2 million who smoke tobacco in pipes.

ACS notes that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have resources like smoking-cessation hotlines, stop-smoking groups, online quit groups, counseling, nicotine replacement products, prescription medicine to lessen cravings, guide books and encouragement and support from friends and family members. And when smokers use two or more of these resources, they have an even better chance of quitting.

Telephone stop-smoking hotlines are available in all 50 states. Smokers can callthe ACS at 1-800-227-2345 to find telephone counseling or other support in their area.

Visit to learn more about quitting smoking, improving your health, tools for quitting or getting involved with a Great American Smokeout event in your community.

The ADA’s consumer website,, also features several MouthHealthy Moment videos on the dangers of tobacco use, dental health implications and more.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

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