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Health Agencies Update
August 22/29, 2012

Smoking Cessation Reminders

JAMA. 2012;308(8):753b-753. doi:10.1001/2012.jama.10697

Fewer patients reported being advised to quit smoking by their physicians in 2010 than in 2005, according to a study led by scientists from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Advice from a physician to quit smoking has been shown to have a positive effect on patients' cessation rates, but few studies have examined how often physicians offer such advice. To assess this physician behavior, a team of scientists analyzed data from the 2000, 2005, and 2010 Cancer Control Supplement of the National Health Interview Survey to determine how many individuals reported receiving cessation advice from physicians (Kruger J et al. Prev Chronic Dis. 2012;9:E130). They found that the percentage of individuals who reported that they received cessation advice increased from 53.3% in 2000 to 58.9% in 2005 but then declined to 50.7% in 2010. Women were more likely than men to be advised by their physicians about smoking cessation. Older age was associated with an increased likelihood of receiving cessation advice. Hispanic individuals were less likely to receive cessation advice than members of other ethnic groups.

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