To examine dentistsí
awareness on major health risks associated with smoking and
their opinions on factors that influence tobacco use.
Design: A pre-tested
postal questionnaire survey.
Participants: A randomly
selected sample of 849 licensed general dentists who were
practicing dentistry in Jordan.
Results: A response rate
of 72.2% (613/849) was obtained. The majority of respondents
(91.8%) related lung cancer to smoking, however, associations
with other cancers (cancer of esophagus, pancreas and urinary
bladder) were of the least reported (33.6%). Only 39% agreed
that smoking is the most important cause of premature death,
non-smokers were significantly more likely to believe in this
than currently smoking. Most dentists associated tobacco use
with staining of teeth (97.2%), whereas fewer dentists reported
that smokers have increased risks of oral cancer (83.7%) and
potentially malignant oral lesions (76.7%). Friends and stress
were more frequently implicated factors in the habit of smoking.
Conclusion: This study
revealed a significant lack of awareness among Jordanian
dentists with respect to serious health consequences of smoking.
An educational programme targeted towards general dentists in
Jordan is needed, focusing attention on tobacco related
morbidity and mortality.