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.