Background: The prevalence of cigarette smoking in China is high. Surgery provides an excellent opportunity for patients to quit smoking, and anesthesiologists can play an important role in tobacco control. However, little is known about the practices, knowledge, and attitudes of Chinese anesthesiologists regarding perioperative tobacco interventions. Methods: Chinese anesthesiologists were surveyed at a national meeting in 2009, with written questionnaires distributed to 800 practicing anesthesiologists. Results: The survey response rate was 60.3%, and 10% of respondents themselves smoked cigarettes. Most (73%) of them frequently or almost always asked about smoking status; 51% advised about the health risk of tobacco use; and 60% advised patients to quit. Compared with nonsmokers, smokers were significantly less likely to advise about the health risks of smoking and quitting. A high proportion of respondents had accurate perceptions of perioperative and long-term health risks of smoking. Although most respondents agreed that advising patients to quit is the responsibility of anesthesiologists and the perioperative period is a good time to help patients quit smoking, few knew how to counsel about smoking or help patients get the help they needed to quit. Nonetheless, most of the respondents were willing to learn about perioperative interventions and spend an extra 5 min to help patients quit smoking. Conclusions: Given their adequate knowledge of health risks of smoking, strong perception of responsibilities, and willingness to participate in tobacco control, Chinese anesthesiologists are poised to play a significant role in tobacco control in China that could improve perioperative outcomes and promote long-term health.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine