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J Dent Educ. 2002 Sep;66(9):1088-98.

Oral screening and brief spit tobacco cessation counseling: a review and findings.

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  • 1University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry, Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, 94143-1361, USA.


This paper reviews five randomized controlled trials of brief spit (smokeless) tobacco (ST) cessation treatment by dental professionals consisting of oral cancer screening, cessation advice, self-help materials, and brief cessation counseling by a dental hygienist. In addition, original two-year findings from a randomized controlled trial to determine the effect of a dental-directed, peer-assisted ST intervention among high school baseball athletes in rural California (n=1084) are reported. In the latter study, results show sustained quitting at two years of 23 percent (32/141) in the intervention group and 13 percent (21/166) in the control group (OR=2.0, 95% CI 1.1-3.9) with subjects lost-to-follow-up considered non-quitters. The evidence presented supports the efficacy of oral screening and brief cessation counseling by dental professionals to promote ST cessation in the dental office or in athletic facilities. In addition, recommendations for policy and future research are presented.

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