Oral Cancer Awareness and Perception of Tobacco Use Cessation Counseling among Dental Students in Four Asian Countries

  • Halawany, Hassan Suliman (Dental Caries Research Chair, College of Dentistry, King Saud University) ;
  • Jacob, Vimal (Dental Caries Research Chair, College of Dentistry, King Saud University) ;
  • Abraham, Nimmi Biju (Dental Caries Research Chair, College of Dentistry, King Saud University) ;
  • Al-Maflehi, Nassr (Department of Periodontics and Community Dentistry, College of Dentistry, King Saud University)
  • Published : 2013.06.30


Background: The scientific evidence relating to the burden of oral diseases attributable to tobacco use has been reviewed and the need for a well-structured dental teaching program concentrating on oral cancer education and tobacco cessation interventions has been emphasized. The aim of our study was to evaluate the awareness of oral cancer and perception of tobacco use cessation counseling among dental students at all study levels in India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Materials and Methods: A structured, pre-tested, self-administered 15-item questionnaire was used to conduct a cross-sectional survey. Data analyses including percentages, frequency distributions and tests of chi-square were generated. Results: A total of 621 (97.6%) Indian, 493 (96.5%) Saudi, 194 (96.5%) Yemeni and 187 (98.4%) United Arab Emirates respondents recognized the association between oral cancer and cigarette smoking. Although more than 96% of the students surveyed recognized the association between oral cancer and cigarette smoking and about 55% reported cigarette smoking as one of the etiological factors of oral cancer, more than 66% of students who reported cigarette smoking as an etiological factor of oral cancer disagreed/strongly disagreed with all the statements concerning tobacco use cessation. Conclusions: A higher level of oral cancer awareness did not have a positive impact on the perception of tobacco use cessation counseling among the sample surveyed.


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