Physician- and nurse-assisted smoking cessation in Harlem

J Natl Med Assoc. 1995 Apr;87(4):291-300.


This study was designed to increase smoking cessation rates, quit attempts, and cutting down among low-income African Americans using brief clinician advice in conjunction with socioculturally appropriate self-help smoking cessation/relapse prevention materials. Physicians and nurses were instructed in the National Cancer Institute's smoking intervention at inservice sessions. Smokers interviewed in a Harlem, New York clinic waiting room were recontacted 7 months later by telephone or mail (77% response). Residents receiving the intervention reported a 21% cessation rate at follow-up. An additional 27% decreased cigarette intake by at least 50%. Those reporting follow-up abstinence were significantly more likely to designate a quit date at baseline. They were also more likely to be men, employed, and have a nonsmoking partner. Smokers who decreased their cigarette intake significantly were older, employed, less nicotine-dependent (eg, delayed their wake-up cigarette), and more likely to use project materials. Physician advice had a significant impact both on patients' cutting down at least 50% and patients' watching the project video. Designation of a quit date and using project materials had a significant impact on making serious quit attempts. Results corroborate large sample, randomized, controlled trials with noninner-city physicians. We conclude that clinician smoking advice for every patient is warranted.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Black or African American*
  • Community Health Services*
  • Counseling*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York
  • Nurses*
  • Physicians*
  • Smoking Cessation*