Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Family Practice and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Self-reported smoking cessation activities among Swiss primary care physicians

Isabelle Jacot Sadowski1*, Christiane Ruffieux2 and Jacques Cornuz1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Ambulatory Care and Community Medicine, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

2 Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (IUMSP), University of Lausanne, Switzerland

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Family Practice 2009, 10:22  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-10-22

Published: 25 March 2009



Individual counselling, pharmacotherapy, and group therapy are evidence-based interventions that help patients stop smoking. Acupuncture, hypnosis, and relaxation have no demonstrated efficacy on smoking cessation, whereas self-help material may only have a small benefit. The purpose of this study is to assess physicians' current clinical practice regarding smokers motivated to stop smoking.


The survey included 3385 Swiss primary care physicians. Self-reported use of nine smoking cessation interventions was scored. One point was given for each positive answer about practicing interventions with demonstrated efficacy, i.e. nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion, counselling, group therapy, and smoking cessation specialist. No points were given for the recommendation of acupuncture, hypnosis, relaxation, and self-help material. Multivariable logistic analysis was performed to identify factors associated with a good practice score, defined as ≥ 2.


The response rate was 55%. Respondents were predominately over the age of 40 years (88%), male (79%), and resided in urban areas (74%). Seventeen percent reported being smokers. Most of the physicians prescribed nicotine replacement therapy (84%), bupropion (65%), or provided counselling (70%). A minority of physicians recommended acupuncture (26%), hypnosis (8%), relaxation (7%), or self-help material (24%). A good practice score was obtained by 85% of respondents. Having attended a smoking cessation-training program was the only significant predictor of a good practice score (odds ratio: 6.24, 95% CI 1.95–20.04).


The majority of respondents practice recommended smoking cessation interventions. However, there is room for improvement and implementing an evidence-based smoking cessation-training program could provide additional benefit.