Background: Use of tobacco is a serious public health problem in Indonesia that requires a multidisciplinary approach by healthcare providers to address it. The study assessed the intentions of undergraduate students in dental schools to provide tobacco cessation counseling (TCC) and their association with the constructs of the theory of planned behavior (TPB). Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted in October 2019 using an electronic survey for dental students in Indonesian dental schools (n = 30). The survey assessed schools and students’ characteristics and eleven statements assessed their perspectives toward TCC based on the TPB using a 5-point Likert scale. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to identify components within the items of perspective. Multilevel linear regression analysis was used to assess the association between intention to provide TCC and the constructs of the TPB as identified in the perspectives’ items using TPB controlling for confounders. Results: About 1288 students participated from 30 dental schools, 83.3% females with mean age = 21.5 years with average intention to provide TCC = 4.3 out of 5. They had above average positive attitude about provision of TCC being the dentist’s role (mean = 3.8 out of 5). PCA identified two components: confidence in their own abilities and perception of favorable environment with average scores = 3.2 and 2.7 out of 5. Intention to provide TCC was significantly associated with more positive attitude recognizing TCC as a dentist’s role (B = 0.10, P < 0.0001), greater confidence in skills to provide TCC (B = 0.17, P < 0.0001) and less perception of favorable environment supportive off providing TCC (B = − 0.20, P < 0.0001). Conclusions: Indonesian dental students’ intention to provide TCC can be explained by the constructs of the TPB. Development of dental curricula promoting professional responsibility toward TCC should be given attention. Improving students’ attitude and confidence potentially may support their patients’ efforts to quit smoking.
- Dental education
- Tobacco use cessation