ABSTRACT: Chronic pain patients often have comorbidities, including social habits such as tobacco abuse, they use to cope with pain states. This study tested the hypothesis that physician activism, communication, and interest in smoking cessation can reduce or eliminate tobacco use.
We developed a survey to evaluate patients' smoking habits and to determine if active physician participation changed these habits.
We surveyed a total of 112 patients. Of the 56 smokers, 59% reported they had previously tried to stop. Smokers initially reported smoking 25.5 cigarettes per day for an average of 18.4 years. After receiving monthly physician messages regarding smoking, 51 of the smokers (91%) reported a reduction. These patients reported an average of 7.2 cigarettes smoked per day. Of the smoking patients, 79% indicated that they were influenced to reduce or stop smoking at the clinic, and 86% recalled that they heard specific statements from their doctor in the clinic. After reducing the number of cigarettes smoked, patients reported breathing better (68%), feeling better (66%), and experiencing less pain (34%).
Physician influence correlated with smoking reduction in this study.
Ochsner Journal 01/2012; 12(1):17-20.