How effective is smoking advice alone from physicians in promoting smoking cessation?
Included studies required a minimum follow-up of at least six months. Trials were excluded if they involved advice plus some form of nicotine replacement therapy, or where advice to stop smoking was included as part of multifactorial lifestyle counselling (eg, including dietary and exercise advice). There was insufficient evidence to draw any conclusions about the effect of motivational as opposed to simple advice, or between different advice-giving styles. Only two studies determined the effect of smoking advice on mortality – there was no statistically significant difference in death rates at 20 years follow-up between those given advice and those given no advice or usual care.
Healthcare professionals frequently advise patients to improve their health by stopping smoking. Such advice may be brief, or part of more intensive interventions.