Doctors discussing smoking cessation less

July 21, 2012 at 1:13 AM
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ATLANTA, July 21 (UPI) -- U.S. physicians are not discussing smoking cessation with their patients as often as they did just a few years ago, health officials found.

Judy Kruger, Lauren Shaw, Jennifer Kahende, all of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and colleagues analyzed data from the 2000, 2005 and 2010 Cancer Control Supplement of the National Health Interview Survey.

The researchers said they limited their study participants to current smokers who had seen a healthcare provider in the past 12 months. Smokers were asked, "In the past 12 months, has a medical doctor or other health professional advised you to quit smoking or quit using other kinds of tobacco?"

The study, published in the Preventing Chronic Disease, found 53.3 percent of the patients received smoking cessation advice in 2000, 58.9 percent in 2005 and 50.7 percent in 2010.

In 2010, women were more likely than men to receive advice from their healthcare provider and the likelihood of this advice increased with age.

Hispanic or Latino participants were less likely than non-Hispanic whites to receive smoking cessation advice. Participants who had a college degree or higher were less likely to receive advice than those who had less than a high school or general education development diploma.

Current smokers who had government-assisted insurance or private/military insurance were more likely than uninsured participants to be advised to quit smoking.

In 2010, 67.7 percent of smokers wanted to quit, the study said.

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