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November 23, 1984

Many physicians following own advice about not smoking

JAMA. 1984;252(20):2804. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350200008006

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Physicians apparently continue to be right up at the front of the nonsmoking brigades.

In the United States, only 14% of physicians are now smokers, says Jeremiah Stamler, MD, of Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago. Stamler points particularly to a study by James E. Enstrom, PhD, of the School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, that reported a dramatic decline in the percentage of California physicians who smoke. The decline was from 53% in 1950 to about 10% in 1980 (Br Med J 1983;286:1101-1105).

This compares with a less steep decline in smoking among white males generally in the United States. In 1964, more than half of this group smoked cigarettes. Two decades later, 38% are smokers.

Now, informal polls conducted at two recent medical society meetings suggest that the percentage of smoking physicians is continuing to fall. Stamler surveyed physicians attending the American College of Cardiology meeting