[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
July 24, 1987

Are Physicians Advising Smokers to Quit?

Author Affiliations



JAMA. 1987;258(4):472. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400040069013

To the Editor.—  The article entitled "Are Physicians Advising Smokers to Quit?" by Anda and others1 in the April 10, 1987, issue of JAMA calls our attention to a widespread problem.My only question is about the validity of the raw data and is based on my personal experience with thousands of smokers who have arterial disease. I often ask them if they have ever been advised to quit smoking. Almost universally the answer is no. Sometimes a patient will say, "The doctor suggested that I cut down." Often after one of these interviews, the patient's spouse will take me aside and say, "He has been told that he has to quit smoking over and over again, but he just won't do it."Like other addicts, smokers do not hear what their physicians say. I agree that physicians need to increase their efforts in counseling smokers, but I suspect that