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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 502-508

Attitudes and practices of tobacco cessation counseling among Saudi dental professionals: A nationwide cross-sectional survey


1 Department of Maxillofacial Surgery and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Dentistry, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia; Department of Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology, Faculty of Dentistry, Sana'a University, Sana'a, Yemen
2 Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia; Honor Researcher, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
3 College of Dentistry, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia
4 College of Dental Medicine, QU Health, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar

Correspondence Address:
Dr. S A Al-Maweri
College of Dental Medicine, QU Health, Qatar University, Doha
Qatar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_1784_21

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Background: Dental professionals can play a pivotal role in educating the public about the harmful effects of smoking and encouraging them to quit the habit. Aim: This study assesses the attitudes and practices of tobacco cessation counseling (TCC) among dental professionals in Saudi Arabia. Patients and Methods: This questionnaire-based cross-sectional study targeted dentists and dental interns working in government and private sectors in Saudi Arabia. We conducted a descriptive analysis by using SPSS Statistics, version 25.0. Results: A total of 895 respondents (314 interns and 581 dentists) participated in this survey. Although the majority of respondents (93%) reported that they always ask patients about tobacco habits, only 59% reported recording tobacco habits in patients' files, and only 55% of the respondents reported explaining to patients the harmful effects of tobacco. Around 91% of the participants believe that a dental clinic is an appropriate place for TCC, and 22% believe that TCC has a negative impact on dental practice. Smoking status, work setting, and the number of years since graduation were found to be significantly associated with the respondents' attitudes and practices. Lack of training, time limitations, and lack of confidence were barriers for TCC. Conclusions: Dental professionals in Saudi Arabia demonstrated relatively positive attitudes but weak practices of TCC. Continuous education and motivation are needed to improve dentists' confidence, attitudes, and willingness for TCC. Integration of tobacco control education in undergraduate curricula is recommended.


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