Objectives: To assess GPs? views on recently published national smoking cessation guidelines that form the foundation of the government?s smoking cessation strategy.Design: Postal survey of a random sample of GPs. GPs were asked to judge the appropriateness, effectiveness and practicability of key recommendations for primary care in recent national smoking cessation guidelines.Setting: General practice, England and Wales.Subjects: 236 GPs, effective response rate: 62%.Results: Only 16% of GPs accepted that all the recommendations in the guidelines were appropriate; 43% accepted that it was appropriate to check the smoking status of known smokers when they visit the surgery and only 30% thought it was practicable to advise smokers to stop at every opportunity. However, 77% of GPs thought that they should provide assistance for smokers wanting to stop; 74% believed that they should refer smokers to specialist services if appropriate and a similar proportion (77%) believed that it was appropriate to recommend nicotine replacement. Conclusions: Recommendations that involved the GP being proactive in monitoring smoking status and advising smokers to stop were not widely supported. There was greater acceptance that GPs should assist smokers wanting to stop, either by recommending NRT or providing counselling or referral. It appears that GPs do not widely support those recommendations that would produce the greatest public health gains
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