Encouraging primary care physicians to help smokers quit. A randomized, controlled trial

S. J. Cohen, G. K. Stookey, Barry Katz, C. A. Drook, D. M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

133 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Study Objective: To increase the effect that primary care physicians have on their patients who smoke. Design: Randomized, controlled trial with 112 general internists and their patients who smoke. Patients: Sample of 1420 patients from a general medicine clinic of a city-county teaching hospital, who smoke at least one cigarette a day and were recruited regardless of their interest in quitting smoking. Interventions: Physicians were randomly assigned to one of four groups: participants who received a protocol for smoking management and a lecture on the consequences and management of smoking (control); in addition, had nicotine gum freely available to patients (gum); had stickers attached to their smokers' charts (reminder); or had both gum and reminders (both). Measurements and Main Results: The percentage of patients with a return visit at 6 months who quit smoking (alveolar carbon monoxide of less than nine parts per million) was 1.3% (control), 7.7% (gum), 7.0% (reminders), and 6.3% (both). At 1 year the percentages were 2.7%, 8.8%, 15.0%, and 9.6%, respectively. Subsequent pairwise comparisons showed that the three intervention groups were not significantly different, but that each was significantly different from the control group (P < 0.05). Physicians in all three intervention groups spent significantly more time than did the physicians in the control gorup counseling their patients about smoking. Conclusions: The availability of nicotine gum or labeling the charts of smokers can help primary care physicians increase their success rates two- to six-fold in helping patients quit smoking. If all primary care physicians used these procedures, they could help an additional 2 million smokers quit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-652
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Internal Medicine
Volume110
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1989

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Primary Care Physicians
Randomized Controlled Trials
Smoking
Gingiva
Smoke
Physicians
Nicotine
County Hospitals
Carbon Monoxide
Teaching Hospitals
Tobacco Products
Counseling
Medicine
Control Groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Cohen, S. J., Stookey, G. K., Katz, B., Drook, C. A., & Smith, D. M. (1989). Encouraging primary care physicians to help smokers quit. A randomized, controlled trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 110(8), 648-652.

Encouraging primary care physicians to help smokers quit. A randomized, controlled trial. / Cohen, S. J.; Stookey, G. K.; Katz, Barry; Drook, C. A.; Smith, D. M.

In: Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol. 110, No. 8, 1989, p. 648-652.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cohen, SJ, Stookey, GK, Katz, B, Drook, CA & Smith, DM 1989, 'Encouraging primary care physicians to help smokers quit. A randomized, controlled trial', Annals of Internal Medicine, vol. 110, no. 8, pp. 648-652.
Cohen, S. J. ; Stookey, G. K. ; Katz, Barry ; Drook, C. A. ; Smith, D. M. / Encouraging primary care physicians to help smokers quit. A randomized, controlled trial. In: Annals of Internal Medicine. 1989 ; Vol. 110, No. 8. pp. 648-652.
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