Doctor's Survey 2022 — South Africa - Foundation for a Smoke-Free World

Doctors’ Survey — South Africa

South Africa 🇿🇦


Physicians Have Misperceptions About Nicotine

Participants were asked: “To what extent do you agree that nicotine by itself directly causes each of the smoking-related conditions below: Lung cancer, Bladder cancer, Head/neck/gastric cancers, Atherosclerosis, Birth defects, COPD.” The results include responses from “moderately agree” to “completely agree.”

Nicotine causes lung cancer82%
Nicotine causes COPD81%
Nicotine causes birth defects62%
Nicotine causes atherosclerosis57%
Nicotine causes head/neck gastric cancers51%
Nicotine causes bladder cancer42%


of respondents are interested in taking training on how to help their patients who smoke combustible tobacco products by reducing quitting smoking.


of physicians feel like helping patients quit smoking is a priority.

Participants were asked: “Which of the following interventions or methods to aid your patients with smoking reduction/cessation do you typically recommend or prescribe to your patients who want to reduce or quit smoking?”

Prescription medication for smoking cessation
Over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy
Social or family support
Chewing/sucking/dipping forms of tobacco products
Psychological/psychiatric counseling or therapy
Referral to smoking cessation clinics
Electronic nicotine delivery system/ecig
Cold turkey (suddenly quitting with no other help)
Alternative therapy
Withdrawal app
Heated tobacco products

Participants were asked: “Which of the following topics do you typically discuss or take action with your patients who smoke combustible forms of tobacco, regardless of other conditions they may have?”

Discuss health benefits of quitting to the patient80%
Discuss health risks related to continued smoking78%
Recommend cutting down on the amount of smokable tobacco products used74%
Assess importance of quitting to the patient71%
Ask how much the patient smokes and for how long64%
Assess challenges to quitting use of smokable tobacco62%
Explain the various methods available to help the patient reduce/quit smoking56%
Record smoking status on the patient chart or record55%
Assess interest in trying a specific resource/product54%
Assist the patient to develop a plan to quit40%
Ask about patient’s current use of tobacco or nicotine-containing products other than combustible tobacco products36%
Advise the patient to quit rather than gradually reduce35%
Discuss smoking at every visit10%
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