Attitude and Practices Among Dentists and Senior Dental Students in Iran Toward Tobacco Cessation as an Effort to Prevent Oral Cancer


Background: Oral health professionals are responsible in Iran for providing a brief tobacco cessation programto smoker patients. The aim of this study was to assess Iranian dental student and dentist practice, knowledgeand attitudes toward smoking cessation programs. Materials and
Methods: A valid and reliable self-administeredquestionnaire was designed and distributed to 150 dentists working in Isfahan-Iran and 60 dental students.Some questions were developed based on the expected 5A tobacco cessation protocol. Statements on attitudesfocused on professional responsibility towards smoking cessation and its effectiveness. Chi-square, ANOVA,and t test were used for statistical analysis.
Results: The cessation program in dental settings covers a smallgroup of patients (18%). Some 69.1% (n=96) of dentists reported asking their patients about tobacco use, 64%(n=83) advising their patients to quit, 33.8% (n=47) assessing their patients willingness to quit and 20% (n=28)reported helping their patients in changing their behavior. A far lower percentage reported active involvementin arranging assistance for smokers to quit (4.3%, n=5). Some 22% of students and 26% of dentists disagreedthat the tobacco cessation programs should be as part of dentists’ professional responsibility and 70% of themwere willing to follow the protocol of tobacco cessation for patients.
Conclusions: Iranian dentist performanceregarding tobacco cessation is weak. Dentists and students indicated their lack of knowledge as the majorreason for non-adherence to the protocol. Therefore, planning to encourage dentist to follow the protocol needscontinuous educational programs.