Objectives: Our study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of general practitioners’ (GPs’) smoking cessation support (SCS).
Study design: We carried out a cross-sectional study between February and April 2016.
Setting and participant: A sample of 2904 regular smokers aged 18 years or older was selected randomly from 18 general medical practices involved in a national representative, general medical practice-based morbidity monitoring system. The GPs surveyed the selected adults and identified 708 regular smokers.
Main outcome measures: Multivariate logistic regression models have been applied to evaluate the determinants (age, gender, education, smoking-related comorbidity, smoking intensity, intention to quit smoking and nicotine dependence) of provision of GP-mediated SCS such as brief intervention, pharmacological and non-pharmacological programmatic support.
Results: According to the survey, 24.4% of the adults were regular smokers, 30% of them showed high nicotine dependence and 38.2% willing to quit smoking. Most of the smokers were not participated in SCS by GPs: brief intervention, programmatic non-pharmacological support and pharmacotherapy were provided for 25%, 7% and 2% of smokers, respectively. Low-nicotine-dependence individuals were less (OR 0.30, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.75), patients with intention to quit were more (OR 1.49, 95% CI 1.00 to 2.22) likely to receive a brief intervention. Vocational (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.13 to 2.59) and high school education (OR 2.08, 95% CI 1.31 to 3.31), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiovascular diseases (OR 3.34, 95% CI 1.04 to 10.68; OR 3.91, 95% CI 2.33 to 6.54) increased the probability to receive support by GP.
Conclusions: Although there are differences among smokers’ subgroups, the SCS in Hungarian primary care is generally insufficient, compared with guidelines. Practically, the pharmacological support is not included in Hungarian GPs’ practice. GPs should increase substantially the working time devoted to SCS, and the organisation of primary healthcare should support GPs in improving SCS services.