Smoking behavior and views of Jordanian dentists: A pilot survey

Samar Z. Burgan



Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod, vol 95 (2): 163-168, 2003.



Objective. The purpose of this study was to examine tobacco use among Jordanian dentists and their views on smoking.

Study design. In July 1999, a self-reported questionnaire survey was mailed to a representative sample of 849 of 1693 licensed general dentists. The data were analyzed by using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (Chicago, lll), and the statistical significance was determined by means of the Chi-square test.

Results. A response rate of 72.2% (613) was obtained. Overall, two thirds of the respondents were men younger than 40 years of age who worked in private sector. Current tobacco users made up 35% (215/613), the majority of whom smoked cigarettes, with 83% being daily smokers. One fifth of daily smokers said that they smoke 20 or more cigarettes per day. Of respondents, 86.8% agreed that dentists should be a nonsmoking role model, and 77% believed that they should be involved in tobacco cessation counseling. Only 38.3% thought that they could convince patients who smoke to quit. Nonsmokers were significantly more likely to respond positively to these questions. Most respondents (92.2%) reported that the harmful effect of tobacco on health is a good reason to motivate smokers to quit. Unfortunately, almost half of the respondents (46.7%) thought that dental treatment is more important than providing tobacco counseling, and those were significantly more likely to be from private practices.

Conclusions. Despite the high proportion of general dentists who were current smokers, many hold positive views on the tobacco issue. An education program targeted at dentists in Jordan is needed to discourage them from using tobacco and to teach them tobacco-cessation techniques and behaviors to reduce use among their patients.