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October 2021

J Natl Med Assoc. 1997 Nov; 89(11): 745-51.

Attitudes, beliefs, and practices regarding smoking and smoking cessation among African-American physicians and dentists.

Hill HA, Braithwaite RL.

Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.

African-American physicians and dentists in metropolitan Atlanta were surveyed to assess smoking cessation practices and perceptions. Questionnaires were mailed to 373 physicians and 90 dentists. A total of 154 questionnaires were returned, for an overall response rate of 33.3%. More physicians than dentists considered smoking a "very serious" threat to patients' health, and physicians were more likely to document smoking status in charts and to counsel smokers to quit. Physicians also were approached more frequently by patients seeking cessation advice. Both types of practitioners considered the nicotine patch, formal cessation programs, and behavior modification/psychotherapy to be among the most effective cessation methods, and nicotine gum and acupuncture to be among the least effective. These results indicate African-American physicians are much more involved than dentists in promoting smoking cessation among patients. Advice of health professionals generally is viewed as a powerful influence for African-American patients. Further work is needed to utilize fully the power of health care providers, especially dentists, in the fight against tobacco-related morbidity and mortality.

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