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Dentists may take on smoking cessation

The British Dental Association (BDA) wants dentists to have a role in helping smokers quit by prescribing smoking cessation drugs such as Zyban.

The BDA said with proper training, dentists could target patients at risk from smoking-related diseases who consulted their dentist more regularly than their GP.

But RCGP smoking cessation spokeswoman Dr Catti Moss said while she supported the idea of dentists prescribing nicotine replacement therapy they should not prescribe

Zyban.

Dr Moss, a GP in Guilsbor-ough, Northamptonshire, said: 'Patients who are prescribed Zyban need to be monitored very closely. I don't think dentists would be in a position to provide the sort of monitoring that is required.

'However, it might work if we could empower them to

refer easily to doctors who were.'

Meanwhile, a survey by Smoking Cessation Action in Primary Care (SCAPE) has shown 63 per cent of GPs have never received guidance on managing nicotine addition.

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