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Addict Behav. 2006 May;31(5):758-66. Epub 2005 Aug 31.

Smoking status of Australian general practice patients and their attempts to quit.

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  • 1School of Population Health, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Public Health Building, Herston Road, Herston QLD 4006, Australia.


This paper seeks to report on smoking rates, quit attempt methods and success rates among adult patients attending Australian general practice. A cluster cross-sectional survey was used to survey adult patients (18+), who attended Australian GPs in during 2002 and 2003. Over a quarter of patients (27.3%; 95% CI: 26.0-28.7) were former smokers and one in five (21.5%; 95% CI: 20.1-22.9) were current smokers. Ninety-two percent of former and 80% of current smokers used only one method in their last quit attempt with cold turkey the most common method used by both former (88%) and current (62%) smokers. Overall, success rates varied from 77% for cold turkey to 23% for bupropion. Success rates were re-analysed to consider quit attempts post-bupropion listing, with success rate for cold turkey reduced to 40% while bupropion remained reasonably constant at 21%. By tailoring smoking cessation interventions to a smokers' preparedness to quit, scope exists to increase the pool of smokers offered strategies that are more effective in achieving abstinence and avoiding relapse rather than relying on less effective self-quitting behaviours such as cold turkey.

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