Dental hygienists and therapists current smoking cessation practice and opinion on e-cigarettes in the North West of England
Richard Holliday and Jack Jenkinson
Richard Holliday NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow/ StR in Restorative Dentistry, Newcastle University
Dental Hygienists and Therapists (DH/T) have a fundamental role to play in the delivery of smoking cessation advice and are in an influential position to provide advice to patients.
Methods: An electronic survey was completed at a regional meeting of the British Society of Dental Hygienists and Therapists.
Results: In total, 74 DH/T completed the questionnaire. The majority (74%) reported always enquiring about the smoking status of their patients (24% sometimes and 2% never). 42% reported always offering smoking cessation advice while 58% sometimes did. Most (60%) DH/T reported having received specific smoking cessation training since they qualified. Less than a quarter (22%) viewed ‘e-cigarettes as a good thing’ and over three quarters (78%) reported providing neutral or negative advice to patients enquiring about e-cigarettes. 58% agreed that e-cigarettes were likely to be safer than tobacco smoking, with only 19% agreeing with the statement ‘e-cigarettes are likely to be around 95% safer than smoking (cigarettes)’. Those aged over 50 years old were more likely to give positive e-cigarette advice (37% compared to 10%, P=0.028).
Conclusions: DH/T regularly engaged in smoking cessation discussions with their patients. Overall they currently presented a neutral or negative opinion on e-cigarettes.
Richard is a NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow at Newcastle University completing a PhD investigating how electronic cigarettes fit within care for dental patients. As part of this he is conducting a feasibility randomised controlled trial into electronic cigarettes as a smoking cessation or harm reduction tool for patients with periodontitis.
Source of funding: Richard Holliday is funded by a National Institute for Health Research Doctoral Research Fellowship (DRF-2015-08-077).
The poster presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.