Vermont State Dental Society
Read an article about the VSDS Tobacco Control Program on the
The goal of Vermont’s Tobacco Control Program is to cut smoking rates by 50
percent by the year 2010. Reaching this ambitious goal would reduce youth
smoking from 31% in 1999 to 15% in 2010 while the rate of adult smokers would
fall from 22% in 2000 to 11% in 2010.
Vermont dental professionals, inclusive of dentists, hygienists, assistants
and business office personnel, persist in playing a critical role in reducing
Vermont smoking rates. Since 2001, with help from the
Vermont Health Department, funds from the 1998 Master Tobacco Settlement
Agreement and CDC,
VSDS has offered a highly successful Tobacco Control Training Program using the
existing Vermont private dental practice network. Our program has been able to
bring practical, effective, contemporary tobacco control measures directly to
dental patients throughout the state of Vermont.
181 Vermont dental practices and over 1400 staff members have participated in
the VSDS Tobacco Control training. In addition, 63 refresher training courses
have been offered. This represents 70% of the dental practices in Vermont.
Our Program began with a survey of Vermont dental professionals and continued
with development of a tobacco prevention course using the evidence-based
Clinical Practice Guideline, “Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence" by the Public
Health Service. Now, seven specially trained dental professionals located in
most all regions of Vermont offer training courses without charge to dental
practices throughout the state. As an incentive, each office staff member
participating in the 90 minute course earns two continuing education credits.
One strong feature of our Program is the direct and continuously used links
to the statewide
Vermont Quitline, Ready, Set….Stop Program and the computer on-line smoking
cessation program called
The Vermont Department of Health supports all of these programs. The primary
goal of our training course is to encourage dental practitioners to Ask patients
about tobacco use, Advise them to quit, Assess their willingness to quit, and
Refer them to the Quitline and/or the a smoking cessation counselor at the Ready
Set Stop Program at their local hospital.
80% of dental patients who smoke report their dentist/hygienist advised
From 2001-2005, dental referrals to the Quitline increased from 0-52%.
While there are many successes, there are still some persistent challenges to
our Program. They include sustaining the high level of interest in tobacco
control interventions in busy dental practices as well as encouraging additional
dental practitioners to participate.
Current strategies to sustain interest in tobacco control include
distributing updated tobacco control information to practitioners and offering a
refresher course that includes free continuing professional education credits.
The refresher course focuses on tobacco control interventions and the oral
In 2006-2007, while continuing to offer on-site tobacco control training and
refreshment courses, we are strongly encouraging the on-going use of the
successful American Cancer Society‘s Fast Fax patient referral system. During
the first 18 months of this program over 140 fax referral forms have been
received from dental offices. This system works!!
Congratulations! The Vermont dental community is continuing to make a
measurable difference in helping Vermonters resist the use of tobacco!
Please contact us to schedule a Tobacco Control Training Course or for more
information. We look forward to hearing from you!
Janina Beach Ward, RDH, Danville, VT, 802.684.3636
Mary Lou Chicote, RDH, Bennington, VT, 802.823.5018
Miriam Findeisen, RDH, Killington, VT, 802.422.4458
Amanda Harper, RDH, Barton, VT, 802.525.4771
Colleen Leffler, RDH, Williston, VT, 802.878.6198
Linda Retchin, RDH, Shelburne, VT, 802.985.2327
Nevin Zablotsky, DMD, Shelburne, VT, 802.985.2907
Susan M. Hill, RDH, M.Ed, South Hero, VT, 802.372.6410
If you have a patient that is interested in telephone smoking cessation
counseling that is free of charge, please encourage him/her fill out this form.
Then simply fax this form to 1-877-747-9528 (American Cancer Society Quitline).
A counselor will call your patient at the time your patient requested on this
The Quitline will provide a Patient Progress Report to the referral dental
provider office listed on the fax form.
Click here to download the Quitline Fax Referral Form (Word document)
Patients interested in smoking cessation counseling services at their local
hospital can fill out the both the Quitline Fax Form and the Ready, Set.. Stop
form. Then the dental office can fax both forms to the hospital program the
Click here to download the Vermont Hospitals Ready Set---Stop Program Form (Word
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