Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Patterns and correlates of tobacco control behavior among american association of pediatric dentistry members: a cross-sectional national study

Stuart A Gansky1, Jennifer L Ryan2, James A Ellison1, Umo Isong1, Arthur J Miller3 and Margaret M Walsh1*

Author Affiliations

1 Dept of Preventive & Restorative Dental Sciences, University of California, San Francisco 3333 California Street, Suite 495, San Francisco, CA 94143-1361, USA

2 2520 Douglas Blvd, Suite 130, Roseville, CA 95661, USA

3 Department of Orofacial Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, 707 Parnassus Ave San Francisco, CA 94143-0438, USA

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BMC Oral Health 2007, 7:13  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-7-13

Published: 11 October 2007



To determine the tobacco-related knowledge, attitudes, and practice behaviors among US pediatric dentists.


A survey was conducted in 1998 among a national, random sample of 1500 American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry members. Chi-square tests and logistic regression with odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals assessed factors related to pediatric dentists' tobacco control behaviors.


Response was 65% for the survey. Only 12% of respondents had prior tobacco prevention/cessation training. Of those untrained, 70% were willing to be trained. Less than two-thirds correctly answered any of four tobacco-related knowledge items. Over one-half agreed pediatric dentists should engage in tobacco control behaviors, but identified patient resistance as a barrier. About 24% of respondents reported always/often asking their adolescent patients about tobacco use; 73% reported always/often advising known tobacco users to quit; and 37% of respondents always/often assisting with stopping tobacco use. Feeling prepared to perform tobacco control behaviors (ORs = 1.9–2.8), a more positive attitude score (4 points) from 11 tobacco-related items (ORs = 1.5–1.8), and a higher statewide tobacco use prevalence significantly predicted performance of tobacco control behaviors.


Findings suggest thatraining programs on tobacco use and dependence treatment in the pediatric dental setting may be needed to promote tobacco control behaviors for adolescent patients.