A dental hygienist's role in tobacco cessation

Int J Dent Hyg. 2003 May;1(2):105-9. doi: 10.1034/j.1601-5037.2003.00023.x.


Dental professionals are uniquely poised to contribute to the battle against tobacco use. When tobacco users receive a consistent anti-tobacco message from a variety of health care providers, the likelihood of success in the battle to quit is increased. Most people receive many warnings in the media about the negative health effects of tobacco, especially those regarding cancer and heart disease. Smokers and smokeless tobacco users may not be as knowledgeable about the negative oral manifestations of tobacco use, and dental hygienists can be instrumental in educating their patients on these effects. Including questions about tobacco use in the health history is a vital first step to identifying patients who may benefit from tobacco intervention counselling in the dental office. Once identified, the hygienist can proceed to discover the patient's motivation to quit, and assist in providing information that may be of help to the patient in ceasing tobacco dependency. Helping and encouraging patients in their battle against tobacco use is an important way that dental hygienists can contribute to their patients' improved health.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Counseling
  • Dental Hygienists*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Ganglionic Stimulants / therapeutic use
  • Health Education, Dental
  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Mouth Diseases / etiology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / etiology
  • Nicotine / therapeutic use
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Tobacco, Smokeless / adverse effects


  • Ganglionic Stimulants
  • Nicotine