Smoking and health: opinions and awareness among general dentists in Jordan

Samar Z. Burgan

 

 International Dental Journal, vol 51: 463-467, 2001.

 

ABSTRACT

Aim: 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.