Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nicotine Tob Res. 2013 Nov;15(11):1892-901. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntt078. Epub 2013 Jun 26.

German medical students' beliefs about the effectiveness of different methods of stopping smoking.

Author information

Department of Cardiology and Pneumology, University Medical Centre Göttingen, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany;



In many countries, smoking cessation interventions are not routinely delivered as recommended in national and international guidelines. This may be because of incorrect beliefs about their effectiveness. This study assessed which cessation methods are believed to be effective by medical students in different years of undergraduate education as well as predictors of correct beliefs about effectiveness.


In this cross-sectional study, undergraduate students from 27 German medical schools were invited to complete a survey addressing demographic characteristics, smoking status, self-rated knowledge of health consequences, and treatment options for smoking and beliefs about the effectiveness of 8 different methods to achieve long-term smoking cessation. Predictors of beliefs were identified by means of multilevel modeling.


A total of 19,526 students completed the survey. Students greatly overestimated the effectiveness of unaided quitting, and differences between years of undergraduate education were small. In the final year, 51% of students wrongly believed that willpower alone was more effective than a comprehensive group cessation program, including nicotine replacement therapy. Multilevel modeling revealed that having never smoked, supporting public smoking bans, and recalling theoretical training in smoking cessation were associated with correct beliefs.


A considerable proportion of German medical students believe that willpower alone is more effective than comprehensive treatment programs to support a quit attempt.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Support Center