The Effect of Tobacco and Marijuana Use on Dental Health Status in Nevada Adolescents: A Trend Analysis

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Purpose: Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. If current trends persist, tobacco will kill more than 8 million people worldwide by 2030 and 1 billion by the end of the century. The purpose of this study was to determine trends in tobacco/marijuana use in Nevada adolescents and their effect on dental health status. Relative comparative data were compared with nationally reported data.Methods: Retrospective data in this cohort study was from an ongoing statewide, school-based, dental health screening initiative that was conducted across 8 years (2002-2010) in public/private middle/high schools in Nevada. A total of 66,941 dental health screenings of adolescents between ages 13-18 were conducted. Self-reported data were collected on tobacco/marijuana use. Descriptive statistics and trends were reported. Means (SE) were computed for caries prevalence and severity. Effect size was reported on dental caries and use of tobacco/marijuana.Results: Overall, percentage prevalence of tobacco use was approximately the same as the national average; however, there were significantly higher rates of marijuana use (12.0% vs. 3.3%). Prevalence and severity of dental caries was significantly higher in those who used tobacco/marijuana than those who did not across all variables and across all 8 years controlling for gender, race/ethnicity, where they lived, and exposure to secondhand smoke.Conclusions: Tobacco use negatively affected dental health status with marijuana having the largest negative effect. The findings from this study identified the need for tobacco/marijuana prevention services targeting adolescents residing in the geographic areas most at risk. (C) 2013 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. All rights reserved.