A comparison of cessation counseling received by current smokers at US dentist and physician offices during 2010-2011

Am J Public Health. 2014 Aug;104(8):e67-75. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302049. Epub 2014 Jun 12.


Objectives: We compared patient-reported receipt of smoking cessation counseling from US dentists and physicians.

Methods: We analyzed the 2010 to 2011 Tobacco Use Supplement of the Current Population Survey to assess receipt of smoking cessation advice and assistance by a current smoker from a dentist or physician in the past 12 months.

Results: Current adult smokers were significantly less likely to be advised to quit smoking during a visit to a dentist (31.2%) than to a physician (64.8%). Among physician patients who were advised to quit, 52.7% received at least 1 form of assistance beyond the simple advice to quit; 24.5% of dental patients received such assistance (P < .05). Approximately 9.4 million smokers who visited a dentist in 2010 to 2011 did not receive any cessation counseling.

Conclusions: Our results indicate a need for intensified efforts to increase dentist involvement in cessation counseling. System-level changes, coupled with regular training, may enhance self-efficacy of dentists in engaging patients in tobacco cessation counseling.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dentists / statistics & numerical data*
  • Directive Counseling / methods
  • Directive Counseling / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult