March 2011

Volume 28, Issue 1

Smoking and drinking habits and attitudes to smoking cessation counselling among Tanzanian dental students

doi: 10.1922/CDH_2498Amemori04


The present research was carried out at the School of Dentistry, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania. Objective: To assess smoking and drinking habits as well as attitudes towards smoking cessation counselling among dental students in Tanzania. Basic Research Design: A 28-item pretested and self-administered questionnaire was delivered to all dental students enrolled at the end of the 2006 academic year. The questionnaire covered socio-demographics, smoking and drinking habits, knowledge concerning health effects and attitudes towards smoking cessation counselling. Participants: Dental students enrolled at the end of the 2005/2006 academic year in the School of Dentistry, University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. Main Outcome Measures: Self-reported smoking, alcohol use and attitudes to smoking cessation counselling. Results: The response rate was 73.2% (109/149) and 76.1% of respondents were male. Smoking was reported by 12.8%, all being male. Alcohol use during the last 30 days was reported by 23.8% and binge drinking during the last two weeks by 11.8%. Both smoking and alcohol use were more common among clinical than basic science students. The majority (67.0%) reported that they had not received education on smoking cessation counselling although 86.2% considered that dentists and physicians should provide such counselling. Conclusion: Reported smoking and alcohol consumption are on a low level compared to dental students internationally. Willingness and need for cessation counselling training was expressed by the majority of Tanzanian dental students. This should be taken into consideration in dental curriculum development. Key words: Dental students, tobacco control, alcohol use, attitudes, patient counselling

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