Date of Award

Spring 1-1-1995

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health, Physical Education and Recreation

First Advisor

Dr. David Corbin

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Stacy

Third Advisor

Dr. Susan Noble-Walker


Approximately 419,000 people in the United States die annually from diseases caused by tobacco use (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 1993). The 1990 Report of the Surgeon General, The Health Benefits of Smoking. Cessation, encourages health care professionals to stress repeatedly at every opportunity the value of cessation to the 50 million Americans who continue to smoke. This paper reviews the data gathered from a survey of the tobacco control activities of Iowa dental hygienists. Dental hygienists who were actively engaged in clinical practice, held a current Iowa dental hygiene license, and had an address in the Midwest were invited to participate in this study. The ages of the respondents ranged from 20 to 62 with the mean being 36.9 years old. A 37 item questionnaire was mailed to 1056 Iowa dental hygienists. Of the 877 possible subjects, 340 chose to participate by completing and returning the questionnaires for a return rate of 38.6%. The areas examined were Iowa hygienists': (a) intervention behavior; (b) intervention attitude; and (c) knowledge about tobacco. Results of this study indicated that the tobacco control activities of Iowa dental hygienists are minimal. A majority (87%) considered it appropriate to present information about the adverse effects of tobacco during routine dental visits and a majority (84.6%) were willing to learn methods of giving such advice. Practice specialty, training received, education, and familiarity with Healthy People 2000 were significant factors (with p . <, .05 ) influencing whether or not tobacco cessation services were offered to dental patients who used tobacco. Several barriers to offering cessation services were significantly influenced (with p < .0 5) by smoking status, practice specialty, education, familiarity with Healthy People 2000 and practice type. Only 3 .9% of Iowa hygienists were tobacco users at the time of this study.


A Thesis Presented to the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Ann Keller Chambers Spring, 1995