Are nonsmoking physicians more likely to give smoking cessation advice to their patients? To determine this, we sent a questionnaire individually to physicians in Tokyo. The average age of the 323 respondents was 59.8 +/- 12.9 (mean +/- SD); 84.8% of them were male and 21.1% were smokers. Among the respondents, 88.8% asked their patients about their smoking status, 79.9% advised smoking patients to stop, and 93.5% believed smoking cessation interventions to be necessary. Nonsmoking physicians were more likely to advise patients to stop smoking (85.6%) than smoking physicians (70.1%); the smoking physicians who themselves wished to reduce cigarette consumption or stop smoking were more likely to do so (85.0%) than those who did not wish to reduce or stop (43.5%). Moreover, more nonsmoking physicians seriously felt that smoking cessation interventions are necessary (31.2%) than did smoking physicians (6.5%). In conclusion, the smoking status and attitude towards smoking of physicians influences their enthusiasm to give advice to their patients against smoking.