The use of tobacco products is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Canada. The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) recognizes with deep concern the effects of the use of tobacco products on both general and oral health.
Dentists see firsthand the initial signs of problems that arise when individuals use tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco (also known as spit tobacco, snuff and chewing tobacco). Dentists are concerned that tobacco products have been shown to contribute to oral diseases, including oral cancer and periodontal diseases.
The following policy affirms the need to eliminate the use of all tobacco products in Canada and establish a norm of non-smoking as a social attitude for Canadians.
- CDA supports efforts to ban all advertising and promotion of tobacco products and other measures to limit or constrain use.
- CDA urges that regulations prohibiting the sale of all tobacco products to minors be strictly enforced.
- CDA encourages governments to develop educational programs aimed at smoking prevention among Canadians in general, but particularly in our school systems.
- CDA urges dentists to set an example to the public by not using tobacco products.
- CDA encourages dentists to place no smoking signs in their reception areas and declare their offices smoke-free environments.
- CDA urges governments to encourage those engaged in the cultivation, production and sale of tobacco products to find alternative crops and to diversify into alternative activities.
- CDA urges the prohibition of exporting tobacco and tobacco products, especially to Third World countries.
- CDA urges that the health of non-smokers be protected by banning smoking in all public places, through provincial legislation and/or municipal bylaws, and specifically urges that smoking be banned in all workplaces, schools, health care facilities and public transport systems.
- CDA encourages the eradication of the use of tobacco products. Studies indicate that dental counseling is effective in influencing patients to quit using tobacco. CDA urges dentists to inquire about their patients' tobacco use and provide advice and encouragement to those patients interested in quitting.
CDA Board of Directors
Approved: February 2005
Revised: July 2012