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The historical decline of tobacco smoking among Australian physicians: 1964–1997

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Author(s): Smith Derek | Leggat Peter

Journal: Tobacco Induced Diseases
ISSN 1617-9625

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 13;
Date: 2008;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background 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. Methods A comprehensive review of all published manuscripts describing tobacco usage rates and tobacco control activities in the Australian medical profession between 1964 and 1997. Results 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. Conclusion 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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