Patients' smoking status: the family practice physician's view.Isr Med Assoc J 2000; 2(5):351-5IM
Smoking rates have decreased in western countries as well as in Israel during the past 20 years.
To estimate current rates of smoking and smoking cessation, and to assess factors associated with smoking and smoking cessation in family practice.
Prospective face-to-face interviews were conducted with 1,094 subjects, aged 16 years or older, registered in a family practice.
Of all subjects studied, 746 (68.2%) were nonsmokers, 237 (21.7%) were current smokers, and 111 (10.1%) had stopped smoking. Overall, 31.8% of the males and 13.8% of the females were current smokers, and 20.1% males and 2.4% females had stopped smoking. Current smoking and smoking cessation rates were significantly and inversely associated with age among males and females. Smoking rates were higher among males and females who were married, had 10-12 years of education, and among males of North African origin and females of Israeli origin. The number of cigarettes smoked per day was associated with smoking and smoking cessation in males, but not in females. The highest rate of quitting occurred among males who smoked > or = 25 cigarettes per day. In a multiple regression analysis, gender and the number of cigarettes smoked per day were the most significant factors that predicted smoking cessation. The most common reason for stopping was the appearance of new signs of illness or the development of a new chronic disease, followed by a physician's recommendation to quit smoking.
Female smokers and male smokers who smoke less than 25 cigarettes per day are the least likely to quit smoking. Future programs should be designed for and targeted at these groups of patients.