Knowledge About the Relation Between Tobacco and Disease and the Attitude Toward Advising the Cessation of Its Consumption Among a Group of Spanish Dental Students
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Tobacco is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the developed world. Smoking is associated with a large number of oral pathologies, such as cancer and periodontitis. Dental professionals can play a key role in preventing these health problems. The objectives of this study were (1) to analyze tobacco consumption habits among a group of Spanish dental students, and (2) to assess their knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes regarding procedures to help patients quit smoking. A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry of Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, Spain). Three validated questionnaires were distributed, and the obtained data was processed using SPSS. One hundred twenty out of 220 surveys were completed. Of the students, 18.3% were smokers and the average number of smoked cigarettes per day was 7.5. Tobacco dependence and the intention to give up the habit were low (Fagerström Test) and doubtful (Richmond test), respectively. The majority of students (94.2%) considered it appropriate to promote tobacco use cessation (TUC) activities. A great divergence of criteria regarding tobacco-associated pathologies was found among courses. This article provides positive data about the motivation of dental students to implement TUC strategies. Nevertheless, the usefulness of these interventions makes it necessary to modify the university curricula in order to improve the education on this issue to reduce the incidence of future health problems.
KeywordsOral cancer Tobacco use cessation Teaching methodologies Preventive medicine
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The Clinical Research Ethics Committee of Galicia (CRECG) did not consider necessary to approve this study as long as the questionnaires were anonymous and the participation was free and voluntary.
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