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Nicotine Tob Res. 2006 Feb;8(1):67-75.

Accessing adult smokers in the pediatric setting: What do parents think?

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Department of Pediatrics, Division of General Academic Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


The anticipation of negative parental reaction is cited by pediatricians as a common barrier to intervening with parents who smoke. In an effort to clarify perceived versus actual parent reaction, the present study investigated the reactions of a diverse parent sample toward pediatricians addressing parental smoking in the outpatient setting. This study represents a descriptive cross-sectional in-person survey of 906 parents interviewed exiting four geographically diverse pediatric practices. Only 3% of the sample felt their smoking status was not the pediatrician's business, 89% stated they believe it is an important part of a pediatrician's job to ask about their smoking status, and 8% stated it wouldn't matter if the pediatrician asked. Demographic characteristics were associated with a positive attitude about being asked. Compared with nonsmokers, fewer smokers had positive attitudes (81% vs. 91%, p = .0002); and more highly educated parents were more strongly positive about being asked (91% vs. 83%, p = .006). Among 187 smokers, 177 (95%) would appreciate or feel okay about the physician's concern if advised to quit and 57% reported wanting some kind of smoking cessation help from the pediatrician's office. In a heterogeneous sample of parents, strong support exists for pediatricians addressing parental smoking at pediatric office visits. This finding is encouraging for pediatricians who are concerned about negative parental reaction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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