Background: Smoking cessation advice from health care providers (HCP) is well-known to be associated with increased quitting. This study sought to understand the extent to which smokers in France who visited a HCP around the time of the implementation of the national ban on smoking received encouragement to quit from a HCP and what kinds of intervention were provided. HCP may have a unique opportunity during the implementation phase of smoke-free laws to address their patients' smoking behaviours to increase the likelihood of success at a time when smokers' readiness and interest in quitting may be higher. Methods: Telephone interviews were conducted among adult smokers (n = 1067) before and after the two-phase (2007 and 2008) national ban on indoor smoking as part of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) France Survey. In the survey, smokers were asked whether they had visited a HCP in the past 6 months and, if so, whether they had received cessation encouragement, and/or other interventions to support quitting such as prescriptions for stop-smoking medication. Results: Most smokers (61) reported visiting a HCP in the 6 months prior to the first phase of the national smoke-free ban, and 58 after the time of the hospitality ban. Of these, most reported they did not receive any assistance from a HCP before (54) or after (64) the smoke-free law. Among those who reported an intervention, the most common were only encouragement to quit (58 in Wave 1 and 49 in Wave 2), or receiving both encouragement and a pamphlet (31 in both Wave 1 and 2). The combination of prescriptions for stop-smoking medicine and encouragement to quit increased from 8 in 2007 to 22 in 2008. The smokers who received an intervention were more likely (OR 1.9, 95 CI: 1.2-2.9) to report that they were thinking about quitting. Discussion: This study demonstrates that HCP in France are well positioned to provide smoking cessation encouragement and other interventions to a majority of smokers and thus the importance of taking measures to increase their involvement, particularly when population-level tobacco control policies, such as smoke-free laws, are being implemented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health