Physicians play an important role in smoking cessation, especially discussing medications. This study evaluates physician characteristics associated with higher rates of discussion of smoking cessation medications. 336 primary-care physicians in New Jersey completed a cross-sectional, self-administered, mail survey including physician demographics, practice type, previous training and confidence in treating tobacco dependence, awareness of guidelines, and perceived effectiveness of treatments. Two-thirds of respondents felt confident in using cessation medications despite only 24% having previous training and only 13% having read or implemented practice guidelines. After controlling for other variables, female physicians were more likely to discuss medications compared with males (adjusted odds ratio(AOR) 2.2; 95% confidence interval(CI) 1.0-4.6); physicians who were confident were more likely to discuss (AOR 3.0;95% CI 1.7-5.3); and physicians in private practices (solo, group, or multispecialty) were more likely to discuss than those employed by an agency (hospital, state, or federal) (AOR 3.1;95% CI 1.4-6.8). Most physicians in this sample reported routinely discussing cessation medications, with female physicians, those feeling confident, and those in private practices doing so more frequently. Considering limited resources and opportunities to access physicians, interventions to increase discussion of effective cessation treatments could be targeted to specific physician groups.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health