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Doctors “instrumental” in helping smokers quit, says study

7 January 2008

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Smokers who consult with their health professionals are more likely to quit the habit, say experts.

A study of 1,000 exsmokers found that 84% of those who consulted with their doctor or nurse believe that giving up would have been much harder without medical advice.

Another 74% of exsmokers would recommend talking to a healthcare professional to others who wanted to quit the habit.

“What this survey highlights is how instrumental doctors can be in helping smokers quit,” says study author Onno van Schayck, Professor of General Practice at the University of Maastricht, in the Netherlands.

“Because nicotine is so addictive, smokers really do face a difficult challenge when they try to give up on their own.”

Heavy smokers were more likely to find quitting difficult than those who smoked less and those who had not tried to quit previously.

Smokers who found it more difficult to quit were more likely to seek medical advice than quit without support.

Professor van Schayck added: “These results reinforce that smokers who are serious about giving up should make a point of speaking to their doctor.”