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Tob Induc Dis. 2008 Dec 29;4:13. doi: 10.1186/1617-9625-4-13.

The historical decline of tobacco smoking among Australian physicians: 1964-1997.

Author information

1
WorkCover New South Wales Research Centre of Excellence, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, Australia. derek.smith@newcastle.edu.au.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Physicians occupy an important position as tobacco control exemplars and their own smoking habits are known to influence how effective they may be in such a role.

METHODS:

A comprehensive review of all published manuscripts describing tobacco usage rates and tobacco control activities in the Australian medical profession between 1964 and 1997.

RESULTS:

Some of the earliest surveys revealed that around one-quarter of Australian physicians were smoking in the mid twentieth century, a rate which rapidly declined in the 1970s and 1980s, with reductions beyond that achieved by the general population.

CONCLUSION:

Overall, our review suggests that not only do contemporary Australian physicians smoke at very low rates when compared internationally, but that an active professional community can also make a real difference to the lifestyle choices of its own members.

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