New educational DVD to highlight dangers of smokeless tobacco

THE HEALTH risks of smokeless tobacco have been highlighted in a new educational DVD produced by NHS Lothian.

The multilingual resource, filmed with the help of volunteers from minority ethnic communities, will raise awareness of the various forms of smokeless tobacco use.

Smokeless tobacco is popular within some South Asian and Arabic communities and the DVD has been translated from English into Bengali, Arabic, Punjabi and Urdu.

People who smoke may also use smokeless tobacco in ‘No Smoking’ areas in the erroneous belief that smokeless tobacco is less harmful. The DVD gives health professionals and community groups a resource to help tobacco users understand the dangers of using any form of tobacco.
Colwyn Jones, consultant in dental public health, NHS Lothian, said:


“The DVD details the major harm caused by smokeless tobacco on the mouth and other parts of the body.  The most common are discolouration and staining of teeth and fillings, receding gums (periodontal disease), bad-breath (halitosis) and then more serious concerns such as harm to unborn babies and finally cancer.  The most obvious harm is mouth and throat cancer, but the cancer-causing chemicals in the tobacco are swallowed so also cause cancer in the bladder, gullet, stomach and bowel.


He added:
“Just as with smoking, we need to make sure young people know about the serious health risks of smokeless tobacco, in an attempt to stop them taking up this habit.”
The DVD was funded by anti-tobacco charity ASH Scotland and the Big Lottery.  NHS Lothian’s Minority Ethnic Health Inclusion Project, (MEHIP), which provides a multi-lingual linkworker / advocacy service and tackles health inequalities, led the work.
Sheila Duffy, chief executive of anti-tobacco charity ASH Scotland, said:
"ASH Scotland is proud to have contributed funding to the development of this DVD.  Having worked in the field of tobacco and inequalities for over a decade, we were aware of a real gap in resources for professionals focussing on the health impacts of smokeless tobacco use in minority ethnic communities.  The DVD helps plug this gap in an innovative and accessible way."
The DVD will be launched Monday 14th September at a conference in Edinburgh.