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Study targets smokers most likely to quit

Smokers attending GP consultations are more likely to quit if they believe smoking is contributing to their illness, a Government-funded study suggests.

The researchers said GPs could target smokers most receptive to help by asking patients for their views about their illness.

The study of nearly 3,000 patients attending GP surgeries revealed 35 per cent were smokers.

Some 59 per cent of those who thought smoking contributed to their illness had attempted to quit within the past year compared with 39 per cent of those who did not link their illness to smoking, according to a report in Family Practice (October).

But study leader Dr Tim Coleman, senior lecturer in general practice at the University of Nottingham, said: 'Where patients do not believe they have smoking-related problems, the appropriate actions of the GP are less clear.

'Some of these smokers may be motivated to stop smoking but many will not. It is possible that some of them might become more motivated to stop if they are persuaded that their symptoms are

smoking related.'

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