JOURNAL ARTICLE

Perceptions of dental students in India about smoking cessation counseling

Prakash Rajasundaram, Peter Simon Sequeira, Jithesh Jain
Journal of Dental Education 2011, 75 (12): 1603-10
22184600
Smoking kills 900,000 people every year in India. Many studies have shown that counseling from a health professional is an effective method of helping patients quit. The aim of this study was to evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of dental students in Karnataka, India, towards smoking cessation counseling. A questionnaire study was conducted among a convenience sample of 329 dental students comprised of III year and IV year students and interns in three dental colleges in Karnataka, India. Of the 329 students who completed the questionnaire, twenty-two (7 percent) were current smokers, and fifteen (5 percent) were ex-smokers. Although 94 percent responded they were giving antismoking advice to their patients, only 47 percent said they had been taught antismoking advice suitable for patients. While a majority (95 percent) planned to advise patients about tobacco use in their professional careers, significantly fewer (66 percent) indicated that such counseling would help patients to quit. This study of dental students and interns found that a majority intended to provide smoking cessation counseling in their professional career and agreed it is part of their professional role.

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