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​Quit smoking referral card for dentists to help combat rise in oral cancer

2 May 2018

BDA Scotland is helping to pilot a new stop smoking referral card, designed to help fight the rising tide of oral cancers in Scotland.

The referral card has been developed by ASH Scotland and NHS Inform Scotland, and has been endorsed by BDA Scotland Committees.

The card includes oral health messages, highlights the link between smoking and oral cancer and flags up the free helpline and website for patients to access.

The cards are being piloted in several areas around Scotland and will be made available nationally in September, but the cards can be viewed here for reference.

In Scotland, around 500 patients are diagnosed with oral cancer each year.

In the UK smoking is estimated to cause around 65% of oral cancers. If oral cancers are detected early, a patient's chances of survival can increase from around 50 per cent to 80 per cent.

Research tells us that 91 per cent of all oral cancers are preventable and around two thirds of current smokers say they wish to quit smoking.

Free oral cancer toolkit for dentists

Dentists and their teams are well placed to detect and refer possible cases of oral cancer, and our free oral cancer toolkit for the dental team is available to help you.

We've been campaigning to fight the rising tide of oral cancer in Scotland.

Last year, we supported Mouth Cancer Action Month in November, and we sent oral cancer information packs to all GDP practices and PDS clinics in Scotland, including a referrals guide, as well as flagging up patient information for dentists to use.

Scotland's Charter for a Tobacco-Free Generation


BDA Scotland is a supporter of ASH Scotland's Scotland's Charter for a Tobacco-Free Generation, an initiative that has been developed to support the Scottish Government's aim of creating a tobacco-free generation with a five per cent or less smoking prevalence rate among adults by 2034.

Dental practices piloting the new referral cards are being encouraged to endorse the Charter.

The Charter aims to inspire organisations to take action to reduce the harm caused by tobacco, to raise awareness of the tobacco-free generation goal, and to support organisations whose work impacts on children, young people and families to address tobacco issues. 


BDA Scotland

BDA Scotland supports, represents and promotes, the interests of all dentists working in Scotland. Working with elected committee members, we negotiate on behalf of the profession on terms and conditions, and pay and contracts. Join us.