§ Mr. Paul Marsden
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to reduce(a) the incidence of and (b) the mortality rate for oral cancer; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Yvette Cooper
Some cases of oral cancer are linked to smoking, the chewing of tobacco and betel quid and heavy alcohol consumption.
The reduction of smoking is one of our top priorities and a number of measures are in place including up to £50 million new money for a major campaign to shift attitudes and change behaviour and up to £60 million new money for National Health Service smoking cessation services.
We are funding a number of voluntary organisations to produce ethnic minority health materials aimed at improving information on oral cancer including material on paan chewing with tobacco which is widespread among Bangladeshi communities.
We plan to publish a consultation paper later this year prior to the publication of a national strategy on alcohol misuse.
From October 2000, all patients suspected of having oral cancer should be given an outpatient appointment within 14 days of their general practitioner making an 51W urgent referral. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence is expected to produce guidance for commissioners of head and neck cancer services in 2002.