Tobacco use cessation efforts among private dental practitioners of Delhi, India

Abhishek Mehta, Gurkiran Kaur, Rishabh Popli, Suchi Khurana


Introduction: Tobacco use remains the single largest cause of premature death around the world. Motivating tobacco users through behavioral counseling is the mainstay for achieving tobacco abstinence. Research evidence suggests a larger role of dental professionals in motivating tobacco users to quit. The efforts of private dental practitioners in providing Tobacco Cessation Interventions (TCI) in their clinics need to be measured and acknowledged.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey based on self-administered questionnaire with private dental practitioners was carried out in the state of Delhi, India. The main objectives of the survey were to assess the current practices and the barriers experienced in providing TCI by the participating dentists. Statistical analysis was conducted to find out the association between independent variables and the responses to questions on tobacco cessation.

Results: The mean age and years of practice of 297 participating dentists was 37.2 (SD 9.8) and 11.9 (SD 9.5) years respectively. Most of them were graduate (N=204, 68.7%). Only 17.2% (N=51) of the participating dentists had undergone any training in providing TCI. Most of the dentists felt that the lack of proper training (N=146, 49.2%) and resistance by patients (N=185, 62.5%) are the main barriers in providing TCI. Younger dentists (<35 years) performed significantly better than older dentists in many parameters pertaining to attitude and practices of TCI in their clinics.

Conclusion: This is a pioneer survey conducted on the issue of TCI provided by private dental practitioners of Delhi. The study results show that around 2/3rds of the participating private dental practitioners were providing TCI to their patients but there are certain barriers for its proper implementation. Therefore, there is an urgent need to remove these self-reported barriers and build self-confidence among the dentists for instituting effective TCI in their clinics.


tobacco use cessation; dentists; questionnaire; nicotine replacement; India

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