Smoking data weak in UK general practice

Recording of patients’ smoking status in GP practices is often poor and many who want to quit are not offered the help they need, UK research show.

The proportion of patients for whom smoking status had been recorded varied from 42 per cent to 100 per cent across 24 GP practices in Nottingham.

Of patients recorded as smokers, 20 per cent said they had not smoked in the last 12 months. A total of 30 per cent of those who were not recorded as smokers said they were current smokers.

Some 41 per cent of more than 6,000 previously unidentified smokers picked up by the researchers said they wanted to talk to a smoking adviser to try to quit.

BMC Health Services Research 2008

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