GP innovator wins RCGP award

A Hertfordshire GP who encouraged patients to quit smoking by telling them their true 'lung age' has won the prestigious RCGP Research Paper of the Year Award.

David Haslam
David Haslam

Dr Gary Parkes carried out the study in five GP practices in Hertfordshire, involving 561 smokers over the age of 35.

After using spirometry tests to estimate their lung age, he found that giving smokers this information significantly improved the likelihood of their quitting smoking. 

Overall, 13.6% of smokers successfully stopped smoking for 12 months after being told the true age of their lungs compared with just 6.4% of patients in the control group.

Professor David Haslam, RCGP President, said: ‘There are approximately 87,000 tobacco-related deaths in England alone every year.

‘This award highlights why research in general practice is so important as this study suggests that we could make a significant dent in that figure and help people to live much longer, healthier lives.’

The paper was published in the BMJ in March last year.

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