Objectives: We sought to compare the effectiveness of a dental practitioner advice and brief counseling intervention to quit tobacco use versus usual care for patients in community health centers on tobacco cessation, reduction in tobacco use, number of quit attempts, and change in readiness to quit.
Methods: We randomized 14 federally funded community health center dental clinics that serve diverse racial/ethnic groups in 3 states (Mississippi, New York, and Oregon) to the intervention (brief advice and assistance, including nicotine replacement therapy) or usual care group.
Results: We enrolled 2549 smokers. Participants in the intervention group reported significantly higher abstinence rates at the 7.5-month follow-up, for both point prevalence (F(1,12) = 6.84; P < .05) and prolonged abstinence (F(1,12) = 14.62; P < .01) than did those in the usual care group.
Conclusions: The results of our study suggest the viability and effectiveness of tobacco cessation services delivered to low-income smokers via their dental health care practitioner in community health centers. Tobacco cessation services delivered in public dental clinics have the potential to improve the health and well-being of millions of Americans.