Vetter, Mary; Thomas, Katharine; Mohammed, Alaa; Urrego, Fernando
Background: Louisiana has one of the highest rates of smoking in the country, putting its children at high risk of secondhand and third-hand smoke exposure and subsequent morbidity. Pediatricians have an important role to play by including smoking cessation promotion (SCP) in their discussions with patient caregivers. The purpose of this study was to examine SCP trends at Ochsner Health System and to determine if pediatricians are less likely to express confidence in and performance of SCP activities than physicians in other specialties.; Methods: We distributed a survey to pediatricians and to physicians in the departments of obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, and psychiatry in the Ochsner Health System. The survey assessed physician confidence in and performance of several SCP behaviors. We analyzed pediatrician confidence in and performance of 3 behaviors (screening, counseling, and referring) and compared pediatrician responses to the responses of the physicians in the other specialties.; Results: Twenty-eight pediatrician and 33 other physician responses were included in the analysis. No significant correlation (P=0.2785) was found between pediatrician confidence and performance in screening for smoking behavior. A significant correlation was found in counseling (P=0.0159) and referring (P=0.0214). In the comparison of pediatrician responses to other physician responses, the physicians in the other specialties had higher medians and/or quartiles for both confidence and performance of all 3 behaviors, and the differences were significant.; Conclusion: The physicians in other specialties showed consistently higher rates of confidence and performance of SCP behaviors than the pediatricians. Intervention is necessary to encourage pediatricians at Ochsner Health System to promote smoking cessation in their practices.