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Int Dent J. 2010 Feb;60(1):50-9.

Improving the effectiveness of tobacco use cessation (TUC).

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  • 1UCL Eastman Dental Institute, London, UK.

Erratum in

  • Int Dent J. 2010 Jun;60(3):140. Koeber, Anne [corrected to Koerber, Anne].


This paper includes an update of a Cochrane systematic review on tobacco use cessation (TUC) in dental settings as well as narrative reviews of possible approaches to TUC and a more detailed discussion of referral for specialist TUC services. On the basis of these reviews we conclude that interventions for tobacco users in the dental setting increase the odds of quitting tobacco. However, the evidence is derived largely from patients using smokeless tobacco. Pharmacotherapy (such as nicotine replacements, bupropion and varenicline) is recommended for TUC in medical settings but has received little assessment in dental applications, although such evidence to date is promising. Whether the dental setting or referral to specialist TUC services is the most effective strategy to help people to quit tobacco use is unclear. An effective specialist service providing best available TUC care alone may not be the answer. Clearly, such services should be both accessible and convenient for tobacco users. Closer integration of specialist services with referrers would also be advantageous in order to guide and support oral health professionals make their referral and to maximise follow-up of referred tobacco users. Future research direction may consider investigating the most effective components of TUC in the dental settings and community-based trials should be a priority. Pharmacotherapy, particularly nicotine replacement therapy, should be more widely examined in dental settings. We also recommend that various models of referral to external and competent in-house TUC specialist services should be examined with both experimental and qualitative approaches. In addition to overall success of TUC, important research questions include facilitators and barriers to TUC in dental settings, preferences for specialist referral, and experiences of tobacco users attempting to quit, with dental professionals or specialist services, respectively.

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