Hall of Fame Broadcaster Joe Garagiola Will Deliver Keynote Address at Dental Hygienists' Annual Meeting
CHICAGO, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Joe Garagiola, national chairman of the National Spit Tobacco Education Program (NSTEP) and former baseball player and Hall of Fame broadcaster, will deliver the keynote address to dental hygienists attending the 78th Annual Session of the American Dental Hygienists' Association on Saturday, June 23, 2001, at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. Garagiola dedicates countless hours to NSTEP, a public education anti-spit tobacco initiative dedicated to promoting the importance of maintaining good oral health and educating youth, parents and coaches about oral cancer prevention and the dangers of spit tobacco use. "We are delighted to have Joe Garagiola as our keynote speaker this year," says ADHA President Karla J. Girts, RDH. "Dental hygienists are on the frontline of tobacco cessation because patients often schedule oral care visits more frequently than medical appointments. We can use this time to educate our patients about the dangerous effects of using spit tobacco, commonly known as smokeless tobacco, snuff, or chew." Garagiola says his awareness of the dangers of smokeless tobacco began when several player friends learned the hard way: They had to face mouth and throat cancer. From casual conversations with players, Garagiola's crusade has increased in depth and scope. Through the work of seven community coordinators, NSTEP has developed grassroots coalitions of teachers, coaches, dentists, and an array of volunteer groups who work together to integrate spit tobacco education and cessation into their existing tobacco control agendas. Each year, anywhere from 10 to 16 million Americans put their health at risk by using smokeless tobacco products. Annual sales of these products now exceed $1 billion, or more than triple that in 1972. The most dramatic increases have been seen with "snuff," which is sold in small round tins and has become extremely popular among youngsters. The goal of NSTEP is to prevent children from starting to use smokeless tobacco and to let smokeless tobacco users know that they cannot achieve total healthy without good oral health. ADHA is the largest national organization representing the professional interests of the more than 100,000 licensed dental hygienists across the country. Dental hygienists are preventive oral health professionals, licensed in dental hygiene, who provide educational, clinical and therapeutic services that support total health through the promotion of optimal oral health. To get additional information about annual session 2001, as well as a wealth of other oral health information and a chance to receive a free toothbrush, visit www.adha.org . MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X56195876
SOURCE American Dental Hygienists' Association
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