Navigation Links
Many Smokers Don't Tell Docs About Their Habit

And more than half aren't worrying about their health, survey finds

THURSDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of smokers aren't fretting over their personal health, and almost a quarter of those who have health-care providers haven't discussed their tobacco use with that person, a new online survey shows.

The survey of more than 1,000 adult smokers, which was commissioned by an anti-smoking organization, also found that only about half of those who want to quit within the next month actually asked their doctor or other health-care provider for help.

Doctors are "very much falling down on the job," said Dr. Cheryl G. Healton, president and chief executive of the American Legacy Foundation, which sponsored the survey. "Every health provider should know that smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. For those who smoke, the single most important thing they can do to extend their lives is to quit smoking. In view of that, precious little time is spent effectively addressing that topic with patients."

The survey by Harris Interactive asked questions of adult smokers in November and December of last year. The polling company, which adjusted the results to account for factors such as race and income, said no margin of error could be calculated. Drug maker Pfizer Inc. provided funding for the study.

Ninety percent of the people surveyed reported having health-care providers, and two-thirds of those had talked to them about smoking. But 21 percent never had.

Among people who did talk to their doctors or other health-care providers or weren't sure if they had, just 44 percent received prescription medications or recommendations about over-the-counter drugs related to smoking cessation.

Regardless of whether they got prescriptions or recommendations, nearly 80 percent said they were very or somewhat satisfied with the help on quitting smoking that they received from health-care providers.

"I'm not surprised that people report satisfaction when the objective facts suggest they shouldn't be satisfied," Healton said. "Anyone who is addicted to nicotine is at least ambivalent about the concept of giving it up. It's a very uncomfortable concept since smoking is highly reinforcing and satisfying to the brain."

The survey also found that 54 percent of smokers who talked to their health-care providers about tobacco use reported negative feelings, including guilt, uneasiness, embarrassment, annoyance and pressure.

Healton, who was once a smoker herself, said that pregnant women and people with such problems as depression and alcoholism might be especially hesitant to talk about their smoking.

But doctors need to treat smokers with respect, said Dr. Norman H. Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association. "Everybody who smokes was addicted as a teen or preteen," he said. "They don't deserve to be treated with scorn or as if they've inflicted this disease on themselves."

People might need to make even six or seven attempts to quit before they actually stop smoking, Edelman said. But cold turkey isn't the answer.

"The critical thing is, you can't simply stop smoking," he said. "You have to explain to them how it's done, how you need a support system and a pharmaceutical if you want the best chance of results."

As for the findings of the survey, Edelman said they highlight the fact that "physicians are not taking smoking cessation as seriously as they should."

More information

Learn how to quit smoking at

SOURCES: Cheryl G. Healton, Dr.P.H., president and CEO, American Legacy Foundation, Washington D.C.; Norman H. Edelman, M.D., chief medical officer, American Lung Association, Chicago; April 1, 2008, survey, Harris Interactive/American Legacy Foundation

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Smokers Have Greater Incentive to Quit, as Big Tobacco Tax Hike Goes Into Effect Today
2. Not Enough Smokers Find Quit Support at the Doctors Office
3. Newly Pregnant Smokers Have a 15-Week Window to Quit
4. New Analysis: Light and Intermittent Smokers Overlooked in Traditional Tobacco Research
5. Genes May Decide Which Smokers Get Lung Disease
6. Recession leads 1 in 3 Smokers to cut Down or Quit
7. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare to Reach 85 Percent of the Worlds Smokers with Quit Aids
8. Young smokers increase risk for multiple sclerosis
9. Social Class, Gender Wont Shield Smokers from Harm
10. Smokeless Tobacco May Not Help Smokers Quit
11. Promise of Cash Prompts Smokers to Quit
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Many Smokers Don't Tell Docs About Their Habit
(Date:11/24/2015)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... author explored the different restrictions and variables that determine which patients are or are ... are those patients that have a BMI over 40, are more than 100 pounds ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... It takes only three to five seconds to ... that the first impression be positive and reflects business values. If a client starts ... or want to return. They will also share their thoughts about a business with ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, ... at a live taping of the next CURE Connections® video series ... Cancers 2015 Symposium at Georgetown University Hotel & Conference Center in Washington, D.C. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Aided by seed funding ... an innovative study designed to yield insights into how to detect and treat pancreatic ... for pancreatic cancer from small, non-coding RNA molecules (ncRNA), genetic material that is present ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... Sir Grout of Baltimore is proud ... The award recognizes good companies for excellence in service and a commitment to ... hard surface restoration company earned this recognition after a thorough review by the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... LONDON , November 24, 2015 ... PCSK9 Inhibitors, CETP Inhibitors, MTTP Inhibitors, ApoB Inhibitors and ... areas are going to grow at the fastest rates? ... to 2025, assessing data, trends, opportunities and prospects there. ... graphs. Discover the most lucrative areas in the industry ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , UAE, November 24, 2015   ... and dietician deliver s advice and ...   More than 50% of ... to keep themselves healthy according to the DHA   femMED ... in the UAE    Dubai residents are not ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Eyewear brand Revo ... collaboration with U2 lead singer and activist Bono as part ... prevent vision impairment and blindness in more than 5 million ... Revo will donate $10 from the sale of every ... up to a total of $10 million to the "Buy ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: