Physicians’ attitude towards tobacco dependence in a private hospital in the city of São Paulo, Brazil
To investigate how often physicians identify and treat tobacco dependence and whether characteristics as gender, age, marital status, medical specialty and smoking status can influence their attitude towards this question.
A cross-sectional study was performed on 515 physicians working in a private hospital in São Paulo, Brazil, using a confidential voluntary questionnaire sent and answered electronically.
We found that 89% of physicians who answered the research questionnaire often or always asked their patients about smoking habits, but only 39% often or always treated patients’ tobacco dependence. In our sample, 5.8% of individuals were current smokers. Tobacco dependent physicians provided less treatment for smoking dependence compared with those who had never smoked, or were former smokers. Being a clinician was associated with higher probability to treat tobacco dependence.
Physicians should not only address patients’ smoking habits but also provide treatment whenever tobacco dependence is diagnosed. To understand physicians’ attitude towards smoking may help to develop strategies to stimulate patients’ treatment. The development of smoking cessation programs meant specifically for physicians may also be a strategy to enhance patients’ treatment.