Tobacco use by physicians in a physician health program, implications for treatment and monitoring

Am J Addict. 2009 Mar-Apr;18(2):103-8. doi: 10.1080/10550490902773015.


The use of tobacco by physicians with substance abuse histories is drastically understudied. A chart review of 1319 physicians enrolled in a physician health program found tobacco use highest for those referred for substance abuse problems (58.1%). Among a subset of currently monitored substance abusers, all those who relapsed during monitoring were using tobacco and had more difficulty maintaining sobriety following initial treatment (p = 0.0137) than non tobacco users. Because tobacco was a risk factor for relapse, reasons why physician health programs should address its use and treatment facilities should establish tobacco-free environments to provide optimum learning and recovery are explored.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicine
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health Services*
  • Physician Impairment*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Specialization
  • Substance Abuse Detection
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*