Nigerian dental students? compliance with the 4As approach to tobacco cessation


Objective. To assess the Nigerian dental students? present effort at tobacco cessation assistance using the simple stepwise 4As model. Methods. A cross-sectional survey of all the final level dental students in the Nigerian premier dental schools was carried out using a pretested self administered questionnaire. Results. The response rate was 98.9%. Majority (95.6%) of the respondents routinely take history of tobacco use. A total of 93.9% of the respondents routinely advice patient who smoke to quit but only 46.1% actually counsel patient on how to quit. Sixtenth of the respondents knew about nicotine replacement therapy but only 36.1% knew the role antidepressant therapy in tobacco cessation. Majority (87.2%) want cigarette sales to adolescents banned, 73.9% want adverts of cigarettes prohibited, 81.1% want cigarette smoking banned in public areas and only 2.8% will permit smoking in a dental office. Conclusions. The survey revealed deficiency in compliance to the 4As approach to tobacco cessation among Nigerian dental students. The incorporation of proper tobacco counseling cessation protocol, with emphasis on the pharmacological therapy, into the dental curriculum is therefore desirable. Dental professionals at all levels should be involved effectively with tobacco cessation to significantly reduce the morbidity and mortality of tobacco use.