The historical decline of tobacco smoking among Australian physicians: 1964–1997
Derek R Smith 1, 2  
,   Peter A Leggat 2, 1
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WorkCover New South Wales Research Centre of Excellence, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, Australia
Anton Breinl Centre for Public Health and Tropical Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia
Submission date: 2008-09-04
Acceptance date: 2008-12-29
Publication date: 2008-12-29
Tobacco Induced Diseases 2008;4(December):13
Physicians occupy an important position as tobacco control exemplars and their own smoking habits are known to influence how effective they may be in such a role.

A comprehensive review of all published manuscripts describing tobacco usage rates and tobacco control activities in the Australian medical profession between 1964 and 1997.

Some of the earliest surveys revealed that around one-quarter of Australian physicians were smoking in the mid twentieth century, a rate which rapidly declined in the 1970s and 1980s, with reductions beyond that achieved by the general population.

Overall, our review suggests that not only do contemporary Australian physicians smoke at very low rates when compared internationally, but that an active professional community can also make a real difference to the lifestyle choices of its own members.

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