The aim of the present cross-sectional study was to assess tobacco use and smoking cessation among third-year dental students in southern Brazil. The Global Health Professions Student Survey questionnaire was used in eight dental schools in Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil. Of the 663 eligible students, 576 (87%) participated. The prevalence of current smoking was 19.1% [95% confidence interval (CI): 12.9-25.3%], and 61.6% (95% CI: 54.9-68.3%) of students reported having smoked at least once in their lifetime. The prevalence of dental students who had smoked ≥100 cigarettes in their lifetime was 17.1% (95% CI: 12.5-21.7%). Being frequently exposed to other smokers at home or in other places (second-hand smoke) increased the likelihood of current smoking by two- To threefold. Approximately 6.1% (95% CI: 3.5-8.7%) of the students reported that they currently wanted to stop smoking and 7.5% (95% CI: 5.3-9.6%) had tried to stop smoking in the last year. Friends and family were the most frequent sources of help or counselling, and only a limited proportion of students received help from health professionals. Tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoking is widespread among dental students in southern Brazil. Smoking-cessation initiatives targeting health care students are urgently needed.
- Tobacco cessation
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