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August 22/29, 2001

Smoking Among Japanese Physicians

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;286(8):917. doi:10.1001/jama.286.8.917

To the Editor: Dr Ohida and colleagues1 conducted a nationwide survey of Japanese physicians and reported that the prevalence of smoking was 27.1% for men and 6.8% for women. However, they did not describe smoking prevalence among physicians by specialty or training status. In 1989 we carried out a survey of the smoking habits and attitudes toward smoking among all members (N = 6224) of the Japan Society of Chest Diseases and found that 24.8% were current smokers, 39.4% were former smokers, and 35.9% had never smoked.2,3 The prevalence of smoking was 26.0% for men and 6.3% for women. According to a survey conducted by the Japanese Association of Private Medical Schools in 1999, the smoking prevalence was 36.7% among male (n = 8849) and 10.4% among female medical students (n = 5111).4 Efforts should be made to encourage Japanese physicians and medical students to stop smoking.

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