Prevention Is The Best Medicine
Prevention is the best medicine!
It is easier to try to prevent a person from ever using tobacco than trying to get them to quit once they have begun.
However, some tobacco chewers, especially children and adolescents, don’t comprehend tobacco dangers until they are into their late teens if at all and by that time might have been chewing for five or ten years.
Research suggests the success rate for tobacco cessation in a health practitioner’s office is somewhere around five percent. But that does not mean that there is a ninety-five percent failure rate!
The person who receives the quit message may not, and probably won’t, quit immediately, but, he may get the same message from others like a nurse, his wife, a friend or others and later reflect about what was told to them.
Eventually, after many intervention episodes, the patient may make his own decision to quit and often comes back to the dentist or hygienist for help in doing so.
Health professionals shouldn’t grade themselves on how many people they can “get” to quit, but rather how many times they give the message when the opportunity arises.
Under these criteria, there is no reason not to have an intervention success approaching 100%. Once the patient has made the decision to quit, then the professional should be ready with suggestions.