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Open Access Research article

Patterns of smoking behavior among physicians in Yerevan, Armenia

Paul C Perrin, Ray M Merrill* and Gordon B Lindsay

Author Affiliations

Department of Health Science, College of Health and Human Performance, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA

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BMC Public Health 2006, 6:139  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-6-139

Published: 23 May 2006

Abstract

Background

Physicians can play an important role in smoking prevention and control. This study will identify smoking prevalence among physicians in Yerevan, Armenia. It will also explore how the smoking behaviors of physicians, their perceived ability to influence patient smoking behavior, and their knowledge about health outcomes related to smoking influence their interaction with patients.

Methods

A cross-sectional, self-administered, anonymous survey was conducted in July, 2004, among 12 healthcare facilities in Yerevan. Analyses are based on responses from 240 physicians, representing a 70% response rate.

Results

The percentage of current smokers was significantly higher in men than women (48.5% vs. 12.8% regular and 6.8% vs. 4.5% occasional). Among current smokers, 52.7% of men compared with 13.0% of women had previously smoked in the presence of patients. Only 35.3% felt well prepared to assist patients to quit smoking. Physicians who smoke are less likely to ask their patients about their smoking behavior or believe their example is likely to influence their patients. Level of perceived preparedness to assist patients to quit smoking was positively associated with knowledge about known health risks associated with smoking.

Conclusion

Smoking prevalence is high among physicians in the 12 healthcare facilities in Yerevan, and a large percentage of physician smoke in the presence of their patients. Physician smoking behavior and knowledge of smoking related health outcomes in Yerevan influences whether they counsel patients regarding smoking.