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J Family Community Med. 2018 Sep-Dec;25(3):175-182. doi: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_142_17.

Smoking cessation counseling: Knowledge, attitude and practices of primary healthcare providers at National Guard Primary Healthcare Centers, Western Region, Saudi Arabia.

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Department of Family Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Dental Public Health, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Pediatric Urology, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.



Tobacco use is the most modifiable risk factor that increases mortality rates worldwide. The World Health Organization stated in 2015 that around six million people die each year as a result of tobacco use. Most of these deaths are diagnosed as premature. This study assessed the level of knowledge, attitude and practices of smoking cessation counseling (SCC) of primary healthcare providers (PHCPs) in Saudi Arabia.


A cross-sectional study conducted from June 10, 2016 to March 31, 2017 in five Primary Healthcare Centers (PHC) of the Ministry of National Guard-Health Affairs, Jeddah, Western Region (WR). The study subjects were the staff physicians, family medicine doctors and dentists. Their selection was based on convenience sampling (N = 167, n = 130).


More than half of the study participants (53.2%) were middle-aged. Most were family medicine residents (25.4%) and staff physicians (24.6). Fourteen physicians were smokers, only 8 (57.1%) of whom had tried to quit. The Internet was the main source of information on SSC (21.3%), followed by postgraduate studies (19.4%). The overall level of knowledge of SCC was poor with a mean score of 35.25 ± 18.40; the overall level of attitude was good with a mean score of 76.81 ± 8.63 and the overall level of practice was average, with a mean score of 55.23 ± 21.54. There was a significant association between position (consultant) and knowledge (P < 0.001), attitude (P < 0.001) and practice (P < 0.001).


PHCPs' have poor knowledge of counseling on the cessation of smoking and their practices are unsatisfactory despite their positive attitude to this role. This affects the delivery of SCC to the patients. Postgraduate studies, workshops and training are indeed necessary to help PHCPs' to understand the significance of the role they play in implementing SCC for patients, individuals, family and the community effectively.


Counseling; primary health-care providers; smoking cessation

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