Several smoking intervention studies have been conducted overseas which use a minimal amount of general practitioners' time and are conducted within the constraints of a normal consultation. However, there are no published reports of minimal interventions in Australian general practice. This study reports on 1238 South Australian smokers who were assigned to a non-intervention control group or a group which received firm general practitioner advice to quit smoking plus literature. At one-year follow-up, 7.5% of smokers in the minimal advice group who had quit for six or more months remained non-smokers compared with 3.2% in the control group. If similar analytical procedures had been used in this study as were used in the benchmark study in England in 1979, the quit rate for this study would have been 11.3% in the intervention group, and 4.8% in the control group--a net gain of 6.5%. These results are discussed with regard to widespread implementation in Australian general practice.