Tobacco product use is a significant public health concern, particularly with the
increasing use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (electronic cigarettes [e-cigarettes]).
Dental care providers are well positioned to screen and provide guidance regarding
tobacco use, but these services are generally underused.
In preparation for a quality improvement project, patients at a large academic dental
school clinic were anonymously surveyed regarding past and current use of combustible
cigarettes and e-cigarettes, attitudes about quitting, and health beliefs regarding
Among 166 surveyed patients, past month use of combustible cigarettes, e-cigarettes,
and both combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes (dual use) was reported by 14.5%,
2.4%, and 5.4% of patients, respectively. Daily combustible cigarette, e-cigarette,
and dual use was reported by 12.7%, 1.2%, and 1.8% of patients, respectively. Most
current tobacco users expressed thoughts or plans about changing their tobacco use
and concerns regarding continued use of these products on their oral health. More
than one-half of the current tobacco users expressed interest in receiving additional
support to help them quit.
Dental care providers see a sizable number of patients who use combustible cigarettes
and e-cigarettes, many of whom are concerned about the potential harms of these products
on their health and express interest in tobacco-use cessation support.
It is critical that dental care professionals engage in efforts to assess combustible
cigarette and e-cigarette use and provide guidance regarding these products to their