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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 388-392

Assessment of nicotine dependence among cigarette smokers seeking oral health care using fagerström test for nicotine dependence: A cross-sectional study


1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, St. Joseph Dental College, Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, GITAM School of Gandhian Studies, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
3 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sibar Institute of Dental Sciences, Takkellapadu, Andhra Pradesh, India
4 Private Dental Practitioner, Dr. Smiles Dental Clinic, Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, India
5 Department of Dentistry, Andhra Hospitals, Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, India
6 Private Dental Practitioner, Care Dental Clinic, Hanuman Junction, Telangana, India

Date of Submission15-Jan-2022
Date of Decision12-Sep-2022
Date of Acceptance23-Sep-2022
Date of Web Publication19-Dec-2022

Correspondence Address:
Nalini Parimi
Department of Public Health Dentistry, St. Joseph Dental College, Duggirala, Andhra Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_16_22

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  Abstract 


Introduction: In the quest of articulating customized tobacco cessation strategies, evaluation of the level of nicotine dependence among participants is quintessential. Objective: This study was conducted to assess the levels of nicotine dependence and its association with age and socioeconomic status among patients seeking oral health care at a teaching dental institution in coastal Andhra Pradesh. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was done among 199 participants with the habit of cigarette smoking who participated in the study. Nicotine dependence scores were assessed using Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND). IBM SPSS version 20 software was used for data analysis. The Chi-square tests and Kruskal–Wallis analyses of variance were done to analyze the study data. P ≤0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The mean FTND score was 4.52 ± 2.1. Significant differences in the mean nicotine dependence score were found between different age groups (P < 0.001) and participants belonging to different socioeconomic strata (P < 0.001). While a positive correlation was observed between age and FTND score, an inverse relation was noted between FTND score and socioeconomic status with participants from lower socioeconomic status demonstrating higher FTND scores. The majority of the participants reported smoking <10 cigarettes per day. Conclusion: The study participants demonstrated moderate nicotine dependence. The assessment of nicotine dependence scores as a preliminary step in tobacco cessation counseling is essential to effectively articulate customized cessation strategies.

Keywords: Fagerström scale, nicotine dependence, smokers


How to cite this article:
Parimi N, Bikkina N, Bommireddy VS, Tejaswi M, Edupalli S, Adapa V S. Assessment of nicotine dependence among cigarette smokers seeking oral health care using fagerström test for nicotine dependence: A cross-sectional study. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2022;20:388-92

How to cite this URL:
Parimi N, Bikkina N, Bommireddy VS, Tejaswi M, Edupalli S, Adapa V S. Assessment of nicotine dependence among cigarette smokers seeking oral health care using fagerström test for nicotine dependence: A cross-sectional study. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 9];20:388-92. Available from: https://www.jiaphd.org/text.asp?2022/20/4/388/364016




  Introduction Top


Tobacco consumption emerged as one of the most common and deleterious habits in recent decades.[1] The global statistics reveal the ubiquitous nature of tobacco use.[2] In India, the habit of tobacco consumption is very prevalent with 28.6% of all adults consuming tobacco in one form or the other.[3] The contribution of tobacco toward a country's disease burden and the range of negative health outcomes tobacco could be responsible for led to the identification of tobacco consumption as a global epidemic.[4] In the Indian context, a lot of efforts have been directed toward making people aware of the ill effects of tobacco. The Indian government has been making consistent efforts to bring down the growing consumption of tobacco which include the Cigarette Act 1975 and Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003. In 2007, National Tobacco Control Programme was launched and the National Tobacco Control Cell was constituted which organizes at the national, state, and district levels.[5]

Although oral health-care professionals are well informed about the scope of the dental profession in identifying tobacco users and offering tobacco cessation counseling, it is seldom considered an integral part of the provision of oral health care.[6] However, strategies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy at the dental office are evolving to be an effective means of achieving tobacco cessation among patients.[7],[8] These strategies not only provide the tobacco users with information about the quit process but also attempt to identify reasonable ways to identify motivational cues from previous quit attempts of the participants and draft customized strategies to counter the circumstances that preclude cessation of tobacco use.[9] However, in the quest of articulating customized tobacco cessation strategies, evaluation of the level of nicotine dependence among participants is quintessential. The evaluation of nicotine dependence can be done in a multitude of ways which include the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV substance dependence structured interviews,[10] Fagerström Tolerance Questionnaire[11] which is an eight-item scale, and the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND)[12] which is a six-item scale. There is a paucity of literature on the evaluation of nicotine dependence as a preliminary step in the provision of tobacco cessation counseling. With this background, the objective of this study was to evaluate nicotine dependence among cigarette-smoking dental patients using FTND.


  Materials and Methods Top


This cross-sectional study was conducted in a teaching dental institution in coastal Andhra Pradesh. The study was conducted from January 2017 to December 2017. Ethical approval for the study (SJDC/CEC/2015-2016) was obtained from the Institutional Ethical Committee of St. Joseph Dental College, Eluru, on December 22, 2015. Prior permission was obtained from the administrative authorities of the institution before the conduct of the study. The sample size for the study was determined to be 199 using G* power 3.1.9.2 software, (Kiel, Germany: Kiel University)[13] (Test family: t-tests; Test: Means – difference from constant (one sample case); Tails: Two-tailed; α error probability – 0.05; power – 0.8; effect size – 0.2). One hundred and ninety-nine cigarette smokers were recruited for the study. All the participants were self-reported current cigarette smokers (participants who reported smoking at least 100 cigarettes during their lifetime and currently smoking) with no tobacco chewing habits. Informed consent was signed by all the study participants and the data collection was anonymous.

FTND is a six-item scale. Four items in the scale are dichotomous in nature, whereas the other two items are multichotomous. The scale score ranges between 0 and 10 with higher scores indicative of high nicotine dependence.[12] The test was administered to all the study participants by a single trained interviewer. Details relating to age, gender, education, occupation of the head of the family, and monthly family income were also obtained from the study participants. Socioeconomic status was assessed using the modified Kuppuswamy scale.[14] Data collection for each participant lasted for 3 min on average. The collected data were later intended to be used to articulate customized cessation strategies for individual participants in the tobacco cessation clinic of the institution. Statistical analysis was performed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22 software (IBM SPSS, IBM, Armonk, NY, USA). Descriptive statistics, Chi-square tests, and Kruskal–Wallis analyses of variance were done to analyze the study data.


  Results Top


The mean age of the study participants was 42.89 ± 17.97 years and all the participants were males. [Table 1] presents the age group-wise distribution of the participants' responses to each of the six items in the FTND. It was observed that participants who were 65 years and older prefer to smoke within 5 min after waking up in the morning at a comparatively higher frequency than the younger age groups. Although it was observed that the difficulty to refrain from smoking at forbidden places increased with increasing age, this difference between age groups was not statistically significant. The first cigarette in the morning was reported to be the most difficult one to give up by participants belonging to all the age groups considered in this study except ≤24 years. Most of the participants reported smoking 10 or lesser number of cigarettes per day. Among participants who were older than 64 years of age, 48.5% smoked 11–20 cigarettes per day. With increasing age, there was a clear transition from smoking cigarettes during the rest of the day to predominantly smoking in the 1st h after waking up in the morning. The majority of the participants reported that they would not smoke if they were so ill that they were on bed for most of the day.
Table 1: Age group-wise distribution of item responses in the Fagerstrom test for nicotine dependence

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The mean nicotine dependence score of the study sample was 4.52 ± 2.1. [Table 2] shows the differences in mean nicotine dependence scores based on the age group of the study participants. The highest mean scores were observed among participants aged 65 years and older. When the nicotine dependence scores were compared between participants belonging to different socioeconomic strata, a decreasing trend was observed from lower socioeconomic status to upper-middle socioeconomic status [Table 3].
Table 2: Differences in nicotine dependence scores based on age

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Table 3: Differences in nicotine dependence scores based on socioeconomic status

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  Discussion Top


The mean nicotine dependence score observed in this study reveals that there was moderate nicotine dependency among the study participants. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to preliminarily assess nicotine dependence scores in the quest of providing tobacco cessation counseling in the tobacco cessation clinics set up in teaching dental institutions as directed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) and the Dental Council of India (DCI).[15] Cigarette smoking is responsible for chronic diseases like lung cancer that tend to manifest in the later part of life besides compromising the quality of life owing to the other adverse effects on health in the short run. While the immediate impact of cigarette smoking on health is not life-threatening, the chronic conditions developed as a result of the habit can be fatal.[16],[17],[18]

The mean age of the participants in this study was comparable to the mean age reported in the studies conducted by Farooq et al.[19] and Evins et al.[20] All the study participants were males which is similar to other tobacco-related studies conducted by Farooq et al.,[19] Park et al.,[21] and Hill et al.[22] While moderate nicotine dependency was identified in the present study, another study conducted by Goyal et al.[23] among participants attending dental outreach programs reported low nicotine dependency. Similarly, a study conducted by Chhabra et al.[24] among patients attending a teaching dental institution reported low tobacco dependency. The mean FTND scores similar to those observed in this study were reported by Webb et al.[25] and Malhi et al.[26] Nearly, 64% of the study participants reported smoking <10 cigarettes per day in this study, which is in contrast with the study conducted by Raja et al.,[27] where only 10% of the study participants smoked <10 cigarettes per day and another study conducted by Farooq et al.,[19] where 75% of the participants reported smoking <10 cigarettes per day.

Participants from lower socioeconomic status were found to have higher FTND scores in the present study which is similar to the findings reported by Chen et al.[28] and Siahpush et al.[29] However, contrasting findings were observed in the study conducted by Ayo-Yusuf and Omole[30] among adult smokers in South Africa. The possible reasons for higher dependence among participants from lower socioeconomic strata are low self-efficacy among participants and lack of intention to quit the habit which could be due to the stress arising from their social and financial disadvantages. A significant increase in FTND scores was observed with increasing age in this study. Li et al.[31] reported increased dependence scores among middle-aged adults (45–64 years) compared to younger adults and older people. While the exact mechanism for increasing trend in nicotine dependence with increasing age is not completely discernible, it is postulated that desensitization of nicotine cholinergic receptors as a result of prolonged nicotine exposure with increasing age could be one of the primary reasons for this phenomenon.[32] Furthermore, it is hypothesized that younger individuals are not as vulnerable as their older counterparts in responding to the psychological cues of the urge to smoke.[33] The limitations of the present study include restrictions on cigarette smoking. Nevertheless, the study results demonstrate that there is moderate tobacco dependency among cigarette smoking participants availing oral health care at dental institutions. Future studies can focus on obtaining data relating to dependency on smokeless tobacco in tandem with cigarette smoking.


  Conclusion Top


The findings of this study provide an insight into the fact that there is moderate nicotine dependence among cigarette smokers availing care at oral health facilities, which is high among lower socioeconomic strata and older age groups. Therefore, the establishment of tobacco cessation centers in teaching dental institutions as directed by MOHFW and DCI, and making committed efforts toward drafting and delivering customized tobacco cessation strategies could be very effective.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
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