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J Calif Dent Assoc. 1998 May;26(5):365-72, 376.

A dental-based, athletic trainer-mediated spit tobacco cessation program for professional baseball players.

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  • 1Department of Dental Public Health and Hygiene, UCSF School of Dentistry 94143-0754, USA.


During 1997 spring training, the National Spit Tobacco Education Program provided a spit (smokeless) tobacco intervention program to 16 professional baseball clubs. The program consisted of an awareness-raising presentation and an opportunity to discuss quitting spit tobacco use with an expert cessation counselor. For two clubs, however, a more extensive intervention was pilot-tested for feasibility and acceptability among their major- and minor-league teams during their regularly scheduled health examinations at the beginning of spring training. The intervention included an oral exam by a dentist who advised spit tobacco users to stop and pointed out any spit tobacco-associated lesions in the player's mouth, brief cessation counseling by a specially trained dental hygienist, and ongoing support and follow-up by the certified athletic trainer to promote cessation. Findings from this pilot study indicate that this intervention, which is dependent upon involvement of dental professionals, was feasible to implement during spring training and appeared to be well-received by the athletes. Dental professionals are in an excellent position to advise and help spit tobacco users to quit and can have an important role in helping youth overcome this rapidly growing addiction.

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