2012 Volume 22 Issue 1 Pages 57-63
Background: The necessity and readiness for smoking cessation intervention in dental clinics was assessed by investigating smoking status and stage of behavior change in patients and the attitudes of dentists toward the effects of smoking on their patients, respectively.
Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was mailed to 1022 dentists randomly selected from the Japanese Dental Association database. The questionnaire survey consisted of 1 section for dentists and 1 for patients aged 20 years or older and was scheduled to be completed at the dentists’ clinics on a designated day in February 2008.
Results: The response rate to the questionnaire was 78.2% from among target dental clinics and 73.7% and 74.7% for patient and dentist questionnaires, respectively. Data from 11 370 patients and 739 dentists were analyzed. The overall smoking prevalence among the patients (25.1%) was similar to that reported by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and young female patients had a markedly higher smoking prevalence. More than 70% of patients who smoked were interested in quitting. Although the prevalence of current smoking among dentists (27.1%) was significantly higher than that reported among Japanese physicians (15.0%), approximately 70% of dentists were concerned about the effects of smoking on patient health and prohibited smoking inside their clinic.
Conclusions: Many smokers who were interested in quitting, particularly young women, visited dental clinics, and most dentists believed that smoking was harmful for their patients. These results indicate that smoking cessation intervention in dental settings is necessary and that dentists are ready to provide such interventions.