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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: Study objectives were to identify the motivators and barriers to quitting smoking and to evaluate the dynamics of the patient-physician visit.
Methods: A total of 501 physicians and 503 patient-smokers completed a written questionnaire about their attitudes and behaviors toward smoking cessation. Physicians were additionally questioned regarding their level of involvement in the smoking cessation efforts of their patients. Data were weighted in order to be representative of both the physician and smoker population.
Results: The average subject in this study was 38 years old, smoked 13 cigarettes a day, and had been smoking for 21 years. Over 75% of the subjects indicated they had seriously attempted to quit smoking in the past and one-third of the subjects labeled themselves as “very motivated” to quit. The top motivators to quitting cited by the subjects were: concern about health status, cost, want to be a good role model, control and appearance issues. The top subject-cited barriers to quitting were: part of daily routine, too many other stressors, too difficult, edgy attempting, and fear of weight gain. Four out of the top five motivators the physicians cited were related to health status. The top physician cited barriers were: lack of desire, fear of weight gain, stress of quitting, not believing that they can quit. There appears to be a physician-patient disconnect in that physicians and patients anticipate very different reasons why quitting is difficult. In addition, patients currently do not appear to view physicians as a resource for information around smoking cessation.