Physicians behaving “badly”

It has been well established for decades that the most effective way—by far—to convince a patient to stop smoking is to have their physician tell them to stop. So the CDC is up in arms about the results of a new study it just conducted.

It showed a significant decrease in the number of patients whose doctors advised them to quit smoking.

After reviewing survey data, the researchers found that the percentage of individuals who reported that their doctors gave them smoking cessation advice increased from 53 percent in 2000 to 59 percent in 2005. But then it declined to 50 percent in 2010.

Now the CDC won’t just try to control public behavior, they’ll be on a mission to control physician behavior too. (Because there’s nothing worse than physicians behaving “badly”—especially in the era of Obamacare.)

Personally, when patients tell me how hard it is to stop, or that they tried and failed, I ask if they can cut back to just half-a-pack or less per day. 

That recommendation, as I mentioned briefly in the Dispatch “NIH Revisited“, is based on actual science. From research I helped conduct in 1988. Which showed that “light” smokers (less than half a pack per day) generally suffer no harmful health consequences

But people have been so brainwashed by the government’s politically-correct campaigns to control behavior, they often remain skeptical. 

Once they get over the shock of finally being told the truth, most of them are more than willing to take my advice. Which is certainly much less of a mountain to climb than quitting altogether. And just as beneficial.