SHadow Under the Lamp (SHUL): Smoking behavior of the health professionals in Pakistan
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Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialization, Khyber Medical University, Peshawar, Pakistan
Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, United Kingdom
School of Nursing and Healthcare Professions, Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Australia
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Corresponding author
Muhammad Aziz Rahman   

School of Nursing and Healthcare Professions, Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Australia
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A204
Smoking cessation is the best option a health professional can offer to the patients for averting the preventable causes of mortality and morbidity.

To determine smoking behavior, preferred cessation methods, and attitudes towards smoking cessation amongst health professionals in Pakistan.

The cross-sectional study is a part of global study including six countries in the Asia Pacific and Middle East, including doctors and nurses working at different hospital settings in Pakistan. Participants responded anonymously to an online questionnaire.

Among 131 participants, 79% were males and 76% were doctors. The mean age was 28(±4) years. Most of them (72%) were never smokers and 5% was a daily smoker. Among 24 current smokers, 67% smoked 2-9 cigarettes per day, 78% perceived it as ‘very important’ to quit smoking, half of them attempted to quit in the last six months, 33% wanted to have a group cessation program with same health professional cohort as the preferred way to quit smoking. Only 18% had formal training on smoking cessation, but 74% were interested to receive one. Half of the participants (55%) said they ‘always’ asked patients if they smoked, 95% said they advised to quit, 82% said they assessed intention to quit, 42% said they assisted smokers by referring to cessation program, and 35% said they arranged to follow up for cessation. Compared to the current smokers, never smokers were more likely to assist smokers by discussing medication for cessation (60% vs. 40%, p=0.028, ORs 3.42, 95%CIs 1.20-9.69).

Health professionals in Pakistan reported good behavior around advice to smokers, but not on assisting them to quit. Health professionals who smoke should be both encouraged to quit and to better support their patients to do so.

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