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Vol. 70, No. 2
ISSN: 1488-2159
February 2004


Smoking Cessation Services Provided by Dental Professionals in a Rural Ontario Health Unit


• Douglas J. Brothwell, DMD, MSc •
• Karen A. Armstrong, MA, DPH •

A b s t r a c t

Purpose: This study was undertaken to determine what smoking cessation services dental professionals in Ontario's Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Health Unit (WDGHU) provide before disseminating a smoking cessation information package.

Methods: Data were collected with 540 self-administered questionnaires mailed to 60 local dental offices. Replies were requested from all dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and other dental staff working in each dental office.

Results: Completed responses were obtained from 126 dental personnel in 28 (47%) of the 60 dental offices surveyed. The proportion of dental offices, dentists and hygienists providing cessation services to most patients was as follows: asking patients about tobacco-use status, 46%, 31% and 32%; advising tobacco users to quit, 46%, 32% and 29%; assessing tobacco users' interest in quitting, 46%, 25% and 19%; and assisting interested patients to quit, 25%, 6% and 13%, respectively.

Conclusion: This survey indicates that most dental professionals in the WDGHU do not provide proven smoking cessation services. An opportunity exists to increase the proportion of dental professionals providing proven smoking cessation interventions as part of routine patient services.


MeSH Key Words: attitude of health personnel; dentist-patient relations; patient education; smoking cessation
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