WHO framework convention on tobacco control and its relevance to the dental professions in South Africa.

O. A. Ayo-Yusuf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


One in nine deaths in South Africa is related to tobacco use. Recognition of the need for global partnership to curb the tobacco epidemic has led to the WHO member states' adoption of the first global public health treaty--the framework convention for tobacco control (FCTC). Relevant to the dental profession, within the FCTC's guiding principle of the need to protect all persons from the initiation, maintenance or increase of tobacco use are articles 12 and 14. These challenge parties to take action to train health workers and to secure treatment for tobacco dependence. Preventing initiation of tobacco use by youths is as fundamental to the prevention of periodontal disease and oro-pharyngeal cancer as providing fluoride and dental sealants for the prevention of dental caries. Tobacco control, whether in private practice or in public service, must be viewed within the context of an ethical obligation for primary prevention. There are science-based clinical guidelines for implementing tobacco prevention and tobacco cessation. Dentists who implement an effective cessation programme in their practices can expect to achieve quit rates of 10-15% each year. However, this primary prevention effort can be no better than the knowledge, skills and values of the practitioners providing the service. The FCTC may change the environment that dentistry is practised in globally. The relevant stakeholders in the dental profession should therefore assume stewardship by providing support for the training of dental professionals in tobacco counselling and advocate for the adequate reimbursement of practitioners providing such services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-204
Number of pages3
JournalSADJ : journal of the South African Dental Association = tydskrif van die Suid-Afrikaanse Tandheelkundige Vereniging
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


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