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Eur J Public Health. 2005 Feb;15(1):33-8.

Smoking by French general practitioners: behaviour, attitudes and practice.

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Service de Santé Publique, Hôpital de La Pitié Salpêtrière, 47-83 bvd de l'Hôpital, 75013 Paris, France.



This paper examines smoking prevalence, sociodemographic factors and the medical practice of French general practitioners.


Data from the 1998 cross-sectional national survey of 2,073 GPs. The questionnaire was administered by telephone. A response rate of 67% was attained. Instrumentation included questions about medical practice, sociodemographic characteristics, and health behaviour. Bivariate and multiple logistic regression (MLR) analyses were conducted.


Almost one-third (32.1%) of physicians were current smokers. A significantly higher proportion of male (33.9%) were smokers compared to women (25.4%, p<0.001) and men were more likely to be former smokers (49.1% versus 31.7%). Two-thirds of physicians reported recommending nicotine replacement therapy to their patients. MLR shown that former smokers were more likely (OR = 1.51, 95% CI, 1.24-1.83) to indicate that their help in getting patients to quit was not effective compared to smokers. Also, physicians who were 'dissatisfied' with the profession were more likely (OR = 0.75, 95% CI, 0.60-0.92) to report their help as not effective than those who were 'satisfied'.


These data support the need for greater professional participation in reducing smoking among general practitioners in France and greater education concerning the vital role of physicians in promoting cessation among the general population.


This study examines smoking habits among French GP's, intervention practices, and opinions about their ability to help patients quit smoking. This study found a smoking prevalence rate of 32.1%, 33.9% of male physicians were smokers and 25.4% of women. This study found a smoking prevalence rate of 32.1%, 33.9% of male physicians were smokers and 25.4% of women.

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