Tobacco Use, Attitudes, Knowledge, and Perception About Smoking Cessation Counseling Among Brazilian Dental Students: a Cross-Sectional Study


The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of tobacco use, exposure to secondhand smoke, and knowledge and perception about smoking cessation counseling among dental students in Brazil. A cross-sectional study was performed at the School of Dentistry, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil. The Global Health Professions Student Survey (GHPSS) research instrument was used. In the second half of 2017, students from the 5th to the 10th semester were recruited to answer the anonymous and self-administered survey in classrooms. The data were tabulated and analyzed, and information about the variables was presented using descriptive statistics. The association between the variables was determined through the Chi-square test and binary logistic regression. Two hundred and twenty-four students answered the survey. More than 40% of the students had tried cigarettes at least once and 8.9% were current smokers. About 28% of the participants reported having been exposed to secondhand smoke in their home and 57.1% in other environments. Most students recognized that they are role models for society and believed they should receive training in smoking cessation counseling. However, only 12.5% of the students reported having received some formal training in this subject. In conclusion, although dental students are aware of the harmful effects of tobacco, there is still a lack of training in smoking prevention and control among these future professionals.

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This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Brazil – Finance code 001.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Danyel Elias da Cruz Perez.

Ethics declarations

The study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (protocol# 63685317.4.0000.5208) and was in compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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da Silva Leonel, A.C.L., Bonan, P.R.F., de Castro, J.F.L. et al. Tobacco Use, Attitudes, Knowledge, and Perception About Smoking Cessation Counseling Among Brazilian Dental Students: a Cross-Sectional Study. J Canc Educ 36, 143–151 (2021).

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  • Curriculum development/evaluation
  • Faculty
  • Oral cancer
  • Tobacco cessation education
  • Tobacco counseling
  • Undergraduate dental