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December 16, 1983

Antismoking Efforts by Physicians

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles County Medical Association

JAMA. 1983;250(23):3161. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340230019009

To the Editor.—  I certainly agree with Drs Dismuke and Miller that physicians should share the secrets of good health.1 However, I think they seriously underestimated physicians' practice in that regard.We conducted a randomized survey of our membership a while back and found that 90% of the 500 persons who responded (out of 1,000 questionnaires sent out) felt a professional obligation to get their smoking patients to stop and their nonsmokers to stay that way.Their antismoking efforts, many of them reported, were a source of tremendous frustration, particularly their attempts to persuade teenaged smokers, including their own, not to smoke.Summing up the prevalent attitude among young smokers, one physician wrote, "Though they have heard a great deal about the hazards of smoking they don't want to give up the immediate pleasure for what may be an eventual problem. Besides, at this stage of their young lives,