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Characterization of Smoking Habits Patterns in Medical Doctors of a Central Hospital in Portugal–What has Changed after 15 Years? A Comparative CrossSectional Study

Introduction: Tobacco dependence remains one of the primary health care concerns worldwide. Attitude of healthcare professionals towards smoking is crucial for any long-term prevention and smoking cessation program.

Objectives: Analyze smoking habits of medical doctors from a central hospital in Lisbon (2014), comparing results between medical versus surgical specialities. Results were compared with those obtained in 1999.

Design and setting: A voluntary and anonymous questionnaire was distributed to all physicians for a period of 4 months. The questions included sociodemographic data, smoking habits characterization, attitudes towards smoking, importance attribute to smoking cessation programme in the hospital and knowledge of the 2008 country law.

Participants: All medical doctors working in the central hospital studied between 1/1/2014 and 30/6/2014.

Outcome measures: The primary outcome measure was to characterize the smoking habits of medical doctors. Secondary outcomes included comparison of results between surgical and medical groups and with those obtain in a similar study in 1999.

Results: Of the 423 surveys distributed we obtained 171 responses, with female predominance (58.6%). Response rate increased from 19.0% in 1999 to 40.4%. Smokers prevalence among doctors decreased in 2014 (21.0% vs. 14.6%), but significantly increased in females of 35.0% to 52%. Knowledge of the ban on smoking in public places was universal. Medical group had more responders (48.9% vs. 29.5%) but also more smokers (16.8% vs. 6.1%) with a higher degree of dependence (4.6 vs. 3.2) and more attempts to stop smoking (56.0% vs. 50.0%).

Conclusions: Knowing the smoking habits of medical professionals help us to identify risk groups in our hospital and to establish future smoking cessation strategies more specific and effective.


Rafaela Campanha, Ines de Sales Ribeiro, Margarida Raposo, Cristina Matos and Fernando Nogueira

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