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Am J Public Health. 2014 Aug;104(8):e67-75. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302049. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

A comparison of cessation counseling received by current smokers at US dentist and physician offices during 2010-2011.

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The authors are with the Center for Global Tobacco Control, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA. Olalekan A. Ayo-Yusuf is also with the Office of the Dean/Director, School of Oral Health Sciences, University of Limpopo, MEDUNSA campus, Pretoria, South Africa.



We compared patient-reported receipt of smoking cessation counseling from US dentists and physicians.


We analyzed the 2010 to 2011 Tobacco Use Supplement of the Current Population Survey to assess receipt of smoking cessation advice and assistance by a current smoker from a dentist or physician in the past 12 months.


Current adult smokers were significantly less likely to be advised to quit smoking during a visit to a dentist (31.2%) than to a physician (64.8%). Among physician patients who were advised to quit, 52.7% received at least 1 form of assistance beyond the simple advice to quit; 24.5% of dental patients received such assistance (Pā€‰<ā€‰.05). Approximately 9.4 million smokers who visited a dentist in 2010 to 2011 did not receive any cessation counseling.


Our results indicate a need for intensified efforts to increase dentist involvement in cessation counseling. System-level changes, coupled with regular training, may enhance self-efficacy of dentists in engaging patients in tobacco cessation counseling.

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