Tobacco education in UK dental schools: A survey of current practice

R. Holliday (Lead / Corresponding author), K. Amin, V. Lawrence, P. M. Preshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate the current provision of tobacco education (tobacco use and cessation), assessment and e-cigarette education in UK dental and dental hygiene and therapy (DHT) undergraduate programmes. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted using a self-administered questionnaire sent to all UK institutions training dental and DHT students during the academic year 2015/2016. Results: Twenty-five programmes returned completed questionnaires (response rate 68%). All programmes (100%) reported delivering tobacco education, delivered by multiple individuals in 78% of the programmes. Assessment of the theoretical and practical aspects of tobacco education was reported in 80% and 72% of the programmes, respectively. More formal teaching time was devoted to the theoretical aspects (100% >2 hours) rather than the practical aspects (76% > 2 hours) of tobacco education. All programmes expected their graduates to be clinically competent at discussing the health consequences of smoking, deliver a brief smoking cessation intervention, and referring patients to stop smoking services. The use of the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training “Very Brief Advice” (NCSCT VBA) training package was reported to be mandatory in 36%, and recommended, in 44% of programmes. Specialised stop smoking services delivered teaching in 40% of both dental and DHT training programmes whilst another 40% reported previous input from specialist smoking cessation services but not in 2015/2016. Most programmes reported delivery of teaching on electronic cigarettes, with 12% delivering a standalone lecture on this topic. Conclusions: Tobacco education is an important component of dental training. Dental education programmes should remain responsive to a rapidly changing field and fully utilise the available resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e248-e252
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
Issue number2
Early online date27 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • dental students
  • dental therapy
  • e-cigarettes
  • hygiene students
  • tobacco education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Dentistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Tobacco education in UK dental schools: A survey of current practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this