African-American physicians and smoking cessation counseling

J Natl Med Assoc. 1997 Aug;89(8):534-42.


While African American physicians can play a key role in encouraging black patients who smoke to quit, little is known about the views and activities of these physicians with respect to antitobacco programming. In the process of developing a protocol for encouraging physicians' smoking cessation intervention, 96 African-American physicians completed a survey indicating their knowledge, attitudes, and practices relating to stop smoking counseling. Few physicians reported patient help-seeking behavior and 47.9% cited lack of patient motivation as a key barrier to intervention. Only 46.8% believed that it is possible to accomplish a lot of cessation help in a few minutes time, and 34.4% believed that setting up and maintaining an office protocol would require a great deal of effort. Explaining health risks (71.9%) and enrolling patients in programs (66.6%) were perceived as keys to patient cessation; fewer than half of the physicians surveyed discuss specific strategies for quitting with their patients. Physicians indicated a willingness to offer more counseling in the future and were open to a range of strategies for learning more about effective approaches. Our findings support the need for dissemination of such information, particularly among specialists, to support antitobacco efforts among African-American physicians.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Smoking Cessation*