"Physicians should talk to every patient who smokes about quitting at every office visit," said Patrice Harris, M.D., of the AMA Board of Trustees, about this single most-effective change patients can make to improve their life expectancy, Family Practice News reported.
However, talking about smoking and quitting is still not part of routine doctor visits, Tom Frieden, M.D., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, said at a news conference. "Even spending three to five minutes on personalized, clear advice will double the likelihood that they will quit for good."
As part of an industry-wide effort to get those conversations rolling the CDC has partnered with five national physician groups--the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, and American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists--to promote its new "Talk with Your Doctor" campaign, according to an announcement.
While time is always a challenge for physicians, medical associations urge doctors to make squeezing in this conversation a priority, as the CDC estimates 43 million American adults smoke, and that smoking kills about 440,000 of them each year.
In addition, the AAP noted pediatricians need to step up their efforts to address children's exposure to second-hand smoke and preventing adolescents from picking up the habit themselves.
According to the National Health Interview Survey, almost 70 percent of all smokers say they want to quit, PhysBizTech noted.