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Comparative Study
, 8 (6), 785-90

Smoking Cessation in General Practice: The Effects of a Quitline

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Comparative Study

Smoking Cessation in General Practice: The Effects of a Quitline

Cecilia Boldemann et al. Nicotine Tob Res.

Abstract

This cross-sectional study assessed changes between 1999 and 2003 in attitudes among Swedish general practitioners (GPs) toward smoking cessation activities and also assessed the effect of a nationwide quitline on GPs' smoking cessation activities. A random sample of 621 Swedish GPs answered a questionnaire mailed to their home addresses in spring 2003. When possible, the results of the present study were compared with results from a similar study conducted in 1999. Main outcome measures were GPs' self-reported activities, perceived barriers to engaging in smoking cessation, and referrals to the quitline. Between 1999 and 2003, GPs increased their overall smoking cessation activities and were more aware of the complexity of smoking cessation support. Significantly more GPs experienced smoking cessation support as "too time consuming" and preferred to refer smokers to counselors specializing in smoking cessation. GPs referring patients to the quitline were more likely to be active in other smoking cessation activities. One out of five GPs had advised their patients to use oral smokeless tobacco as a means to stop smoking. A paradigm shift regarding awareness of the complexity of smoking cessation support may be ongoing amongst Swedish GPs. The nationwide smoking cessation quitline appears to have had a positive effect on GPs' engagement in smoking cessation.

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