Oral Health Promotion and Smoking Cessation Program Delivered via Tobacco Quitlines: The Oral Health 4 Life Trial

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Abstract

Objectives

To assess the effects of a novel oral health promotion program (Oral Health 4 Life; OH4L) delivered through state-funded tobacco quitlines.

Methods

Using a semipragmatic design to balance experimental control and generalizability, we randomized US quitline callers (n = 718) to standard care or standard care plus OH4L. We followed participants for 6 months to assess effects on professional dental care and smoking abstinence. We collected data between 2015 and 2017.

Results

Participants were racially diverse (42% non-White) and socioeconomically disadvantaged. Most (71%) reported fair or poor oral health, and all were overdue for routine dental care. At 6 months, professional dental care and abstinence did not significantly differ between arms, but abstinence favored the experimental arm and was significantly higher among experimental participants at 2 months in a complete case sensitivity analysis.

Conclusions

OH4L was not effective for promoting dental care, but integrating oral health counseling with quitline counseling may offer some advantage for smoking cessation.

Public Health Implications

We offer a model for conducting semipragmatic trials and partnering with tobacco quitlines to evaluate population-level public health interventions.

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