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Laura Dorr is the former executive editor of DPR's Modern Dental Network and a regular contributing author.
A recent study from the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center discovered that some dentists are not encouraging patients who smoke to ditch the habit. Researchers found that only 1 in 10 smokers who saw a dentist in the past 12 months received the recommendation to quit smoking.
While much research has been done on the effectiveness of healthcare provider's advice to quit smoking, the authors of the OSU study noted that no recent research had examined the difference in the prevalence of smoking cessation advice offered by physicians versus dentists. The researchers also examined how factors such as the patient's sex, age, race, marital status, type of health insurance and more affected the rate of advice.
The study found that over half of current smokers who visited any healthcare provider received advice to quit smoking, while only 10% of smokers were given similar advice from a dentist specifically. Results also indicated that those who were married or had smoking-related diseases were more likely to receive smoking cessation advice from healthcare providers in general. Higher-income smokers or those with better health insurance also received advice at a higher rate.
Although smoking is a leading preventable cause of death in the United States, approximately 21% of American adults smoke. Studies show that around 70% of smokers have expressed interest in quitting, and that 41% of smokers have reported an attempt to quit smoking in the past year.
Click below to hear thoughts from Anastasia Turchetta, RDH, on how dental professionals can incorporate smoking cessation into their practices ...