Workplace Tobacco Policies and Smoking Cessation Practices of Physicians

Nigerian physician

BACKGROUND

Approximately 80% of the world’s smokers live in developing countries. While the prevalence of cigarette smoking has declined over the past two decades in developed countries, smoking prevalence continues to rise in the majority of developing countries. Tobacco is fast becoming the single leading cause of death worldwide and is estimated to kill nearly 10 million people per year by 2030. If current trends continue, an estimated one billion people worldwide will die from tobacco use in the 21st century. Approximately 70% of these tobacco-related deaths will occur among smokers in developing countries.

Evidence suggests that much of the projected mortality from smoking can be prevented by quitting, yet former smokers are rare in developing countries. Specifically, over the last several decades, the rate of ex-smokers in developed countries has risen, while the number of ex-smokers living in developing countries remains low. Approximately 30% of males in developed countries are ex-smokers, compared to only 2-10% of male ex-smokers in developing countries.
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These data suggest that the global tobacco epidemic is not uniform. Research has focused on monitoring and preventing tobacco use, as well as promoting the use of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) recommended smoking cessation guidelines in developed coun­tries. The AHRQ guidelines recommend physicians screen all patients for tobacco use, advise tobacco users to quit, set a quit date, and provide pharma­cotherapy. Relatively little is known about how developing countries are confronting their growing tobacco epidemic. In particular, a paucity of research exists on the tobacco-related attitudes, beliefs, and smoking cessation practices of physi­cians in developing countries. Therefore, the current study was conducted to assess: 1) the workplace smoking policies of physicians in Nigeria, 2) their perceptions of smoking, 3) their attitudes about the importance of quitting, and 4) their use of recommended smoking cessation guidelines.

Physicians were targeted because, in developed countries, physician-initiated interventions have been shown to increase smoking cessation, yet little is known about the smoking cessation practices of physicians in developing countries. Understanding the attitudes about smoking and smoking cessation practices of physicians in Nigeria is an important first step to reducing smoking and lowering tobacco-related health problems in Nigeria. canadian pharmacy generic viagra

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