Background Patients advised to quit smoking by their physicians are more likely to quit than patients not receiving physician advice. However, most smokers do not receive this advice when visiting their physicians. This scoping study was to assess the willingness and self-rated competence of doctors to provide tobacco cessation services as a prelude to the establishment of a hospital based cessation service.
Methodology Self-administered semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect information from doctors working in the family medicine and community medicine departments of a teaching hospital.
Result Forty-one doctors participated in the study. Mean age of participants was 35.5±7.5 years. Majority (61.0%) were males and most (78.1%) had worked ≤5 years in the institution. About half (51.2%) were aware of Nigeria tobacco decree, 14.5% were aware of WHO-FCTC and the 5As of smoking cessation. Only 4.9% had ever used the change model. Barriers to tobacco cessation activities in everyday practice included having no materials to hand out (41.5%), lack of time (29.3%), not knowing what to say or do (14.6%); and where to send patients for counselling (31.7%). Smoking cessation services were offered routinely in the clinics of 17.1% of respondents. Less than 10% believed they had excellent knowledge and skills in pharmacology of nicotine, motivating patients to quit and behavioural smoking cessation techniques. Seventy percent expressed willingness to learn more about these topics with majority (53.7%) preferring the on-site continuing medical education mode.
Conclusion Training and creation of an enabling environment is needed to encourage doctors to practice tobacco cessation in their facilities.
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