STATUS OF FAMILY PHYSICIAN’S AWARENESS ABOUT TOBACCO SMOKING HAZARDS AND CESSATION

Talha Mahmud Mahmud, Qazi Abdul Saboor, Muhammad Aasim, Syed Nazim Hussain Bokhari

Abstract


Introduction:
Repeated advice to quit smoking delivered routinely to all smokers seen in office practice increases the rates of smoking cessation. The optimal knowledge of family physicians regarding various tobacco issues like smoking hazards and existing cessation is of utmost importance.
Objective:
The objective of the study was to assess the existing status of family physicians
awareness about tobacco related issues, smoking hazards and cessation strategies.
Material and Methods:
Family physicians practicing in various localities of Lahore were surveyed through questionnaire performa, to assess their general knowledge regarding tobacco smoking. Questionnaires were distributed on the occasion of two scientific presentations as well as by directly approaching them at their clinics.
Results:
A total of 124 questionnaires were given and 100 were returned with a response rate of 80.64%. Thirty one percent were cigarette smokers themselves. Most physicians (73%) could not calculate the smoking pack years and the same percentage had a poor knowledge regarding number of chemicals in the tobacco smoke. Only 22% of the participants could correctly name 5 hazards of tobacco smoking. Regarding smoking cessation, 58 percent considered gradual tapering better while remaining favored sudden stoppage. Fifty nine percent had a poor knowledge of pharmacological management for smoking cessation, 36% had fair and only 5% had good knowledge. Sixty one percent of the participants had never prescribed a medication for smoking cessation while 80% agreed for cessation counseling. Thirty eight percent did not know of a single hazard associated with passive smoking and only fifty two percent correctly responded about the contents of shisha/water pipe. Senior physicians, postgraduate diploma holders and those involved in public hospital practice had a better understanding and knowledge.
Conclusion:
These results indicate that there are major gaps of basic knowledge about the tobacco smoking hazards and cessation strategies including behavioral and pharmacological treatment among the family physicians of Lahore. Efforts are needed to improve upon this and thus utilize fully the power of primary health care providers in the fight against tobacco-related morbidity and mortality.


Keywords


Family physicians; Tobacco smoking hazards; Shisha/water pipe

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