Attitudes and smoking habits of dentists in Victoria: 16 years on Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • In 1977 a survey of Victorian dentists measured their smoking prevalence, and their attitudes to dealing with patients who smoked. In 1993 these questions were repeated as part of a telephone survey of Victorian dentists. From 1977 to 1993 their prevalence of daily smoking had dropped from 30 per cent to 6 per cent, and this was not attributable simply to an influx of younger dentists who had never smoked. Many of those who had graduated in 1977 or more recently had never smoked, but many of the earlier graduates had quit, and there was no difference in the current smoking prevalence of the two groups. There had also been a change in dentists' attitudes towards smoking patients, with more of the 1993 sample (55 per cent) than the 1977 sample (43 per cent) agreeing with the statement 'I encourage all my patients to give up smoking wherever possible'. Again, the more experienced dentists were adopting the new behaviours, not just the more recent graduates. Even so, in 1993 nearly half the dentists waited until the patient either was affected by smoking, or asked for advice before raising the issue.

publication date

  • October 1994