Objective: Physicians do not adequately use their unique professional privilege to prevent patients from smoking. The aim of this study was to investigate the type and extent of advice given to patients by physicians of different medical specialties regarding smoking cessation.
Methods: In total, 317 volunteer physicians were included in this study. The participants rated their attitudes toward the smoking habits of their patients by completing a questionnaire. The approaches used to address the smoking habits of patients significantly differed among physicians working at polyclinics, clinics and emergency service departments (p<0.001). Physicians working at clinics exhibited the highest frequency of inquiring about the smoking habits of their patients, while physicians working at emergency service departments exhibited the lowest frequency.
Results: Physicians from different medical specialties significantly differed in their responses. Physicians specializing in lung diseases, thoracic surgery, and cardiology were more committed to preventing their patients from cigarette smoking.
Conclusions: The role of physicians, particularly pulmonologists and thoracic surgeons, is critical in the fight against cigarette smoking. Promoting physician awareness of this subject is highly important in all other branches of medicine.