Document Type : Research Articles
Division of Public Health Dentistry, Centre of Dental Education and Research, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
National Oral Health Program, Centre for Dental Education and Research, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Introduction: In India every year, an estimated 1 million people die from tobacco-related illnesses, which could have been avoided by stopping tobacco use. This study aimed to determine the tobacco dependence and perceptions about tobacco cessation among the patients attending a tertiary care dental hospital. Methods: A mixed-methods study was conducted among the individuals visiting the dental hospital. Self-administered questionnaires were used to record quantitative data on the current and past tobacco history, tobacco dependence, and quit attempts. Face-to-face interviews were conducted to collect qualitative data on the perceptions on tobacco quitting. Results: About 52% of participants had made an attempt to quit tobacco in the past. The majority of the smokers (82.7%), smokeless tobacco (SLT) users (71.3%), and dual users (83.1%) reported being in the contemplation phase of quitting tobacco. SLT users (12.3%) reported to have taken action in the past to quit tobacco compared to 9.6% smokers, and 1.4% of dual users. Doctors advise, motivation from family and friends motivated the participants to quit tobacco. The risk perception of tobacco use was reported as death, cancer, dental diseases, systemic diseases like chest congestion, cough, tuberculosis, lung cancer, and general body weakness. However, some of the participants were unaware of the methods to quit tobacco, some had misconceptions that shifting to other forms of tobacco and alcohol could help in quitting, and considered SLT to be less harmful than smoking forms.Conclusion: Majority of the participants were willing to quit tobacco and had taken measures to quit in the past. There is a need to increase the awareness among the tobacco users about the health risk of tobacco use, and motivate them to utilize the existing cessation services available.