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Public Health. 2007 May;121(5):333-40. Epub 2007 Jan 16.

Smoking habits and associated factors among Greek physicians.

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Third Department of Internal Medicine, Saint Panteleimon General Hospital of Nikea, Nikea-Pireaus, Greece.



To investigate the smoking habits and associated risk factors among Greek physicians.


Cross-sectional survey of a randomly selected sample of Greek physicians.


A national sample of 1284 physicians (718 men, 566 women) participated in the study, which was conducted between September 2003 and June 2005. Data were collected through an anonymous self-completed questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to analyse the influence of different factors on the probability of a physician being a current or former smoker.


Overall, 38.6% of the physicians (40% of men; 37% of women) currently smoked, 13.8% were former smokers, and 47.6% had never smoked. Eighty-three per cent of smokers reported starting smoking before the age of 25 years, with half of them during medical school (aged 19-24 years). Multivariate analyses revealed that physicians who were male, unmarried, divorced or widowed, surgeons or anaesthetists, and residents were more likely to be current smokers. Former smokers were more likely to be older, male and born in a rural area. Moreover, the odds of being a current or former smoker were significantly higher among physicians with a history of parents who smoked. The proportion of physicians who reported counselling patients (often or always) to stop smoking was lower among current smokers compared with those who never smoked or those who were former smokers (74.4% vs. 85.3% vs. 84.7%, P<0.0001).


The prevalence of smoking among Greek physicians is exceedingly high and similar to that of the general population. More effective interventions that reduce smoking in the medical community should be implemented immediately so that physicians will be better able to fulfil their function as role models for the general population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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