Effectiveness of a Brief Physician Counselling Session on Improving Smoking Behaviour in the Workplace

  • Han, Yung Wen (Department of Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, University Teknologi Mara) ;
  • Mohammad, Mohazmi (Department of Primary Care Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya) ;
  • Liew, Su May (Department of Primary Care Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya)
  • Published : 2014.09.15


Background: Brief physician counselling has been shown to be effective in improving smokers' behaviour. If the counselling sessions can be given at the workplace, this would benefit a larger number of smokers. This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of a ten-minute physician counseling session at the workplace in improving smoking behaviour. Materials and Methods: This prospective randomised control trial was conducted on smokers in a factory. A total of 163 participants were recruited and randomised into control and intervention groups using a table of random numbers. The intervention group received a ten-minute brief physician counselling session to quit smoking. Stages of smoking behaviour were measured in both groups using a translated and validated questionnaire at baseline, one month and three months post intervention. Results: There was a significant improvement in smoking behaviour at one-month post intervention (p=0.024, intention to treat analysis; OR=2.525; CI=1.109-5.747). This was not significant at three-month post intervention (p=0.946, intention to treat analysis; OR=1.026; 95% CI=0.486-2.168). Conclusions: A session of brief physician counselling was effective in improving smokers' behaviour at workplace, but the effect was not sustained.


Supported by : University of Malaya


  1. Beaglehole R, Bonita R, Horton R, et al (2011). Priority actions for the non-communicable disease crisis. The Lancet, 377, 1438-47.
  2. Doll R, Peto R, Boreham J, et al (2004) Mortality in relation to smoking: 50 years' observations on male British doctors. BMJ, 328, 1519.
  3. Fiore MC, Jaen CR, Baker TB, et al (2009) Treating tobacco use and dependence: 2008 update: quick reference guide for clinicians. rockville, MD: U.S. department of health and human services. Public Health Service.
  4. Hilberink SR, Jacobs JE, Bottema Ben J. A. M., et al. (2005). Smoking cessation in patients with COPD in daily general practice (SMOCC): Six months' results. Prev Med, 41, 822-7.
  5. Jayakrishnan R, Mathew A, Uutela A, et al (2011). A community based smoking cessation intervention trial for rural Kerala, India. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 12, 3191-5.
  6. Jayakrishnan R, Mathew A, Uutela A, et al (2013). Multiple approaches and participation rate for a community based smoing cessation intervention trial in rural Kerala, India. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 14, 2891-6.
  7. Kadowaki T, Okamura T, Funakoshi T, et al (2004). Effectiveness of annual interventions for smoking cessation in an occupational setting in Japan. Environ Health Prev Med, 9, 161-4.
  8. Kim H, Oh JK, Lim MK, et al (2013). The national "smoking cessation clinics" program in the republic of Korea: socioeconomic status and age matter. Asia Pac J Cancer Prev, 14, 6919-24.
  9. Kim JR, Lee MS, Hwang JY, et al (2005). Efficacy of a smoking cessation intervention using the AHCPR guideline tailored for Koreans: a randomized controlled trial. Health Promotion International. 20, 51-9.
  10. Mahayiddin A, Mazlan M, Abu Bakar S, et al (2003). Clinical practice guideline: treatment of tobacco use and dependence. Putrajaya: Ministry of Health, Malaysia
  11. Nishiura C, Narai R, Ohguri T, et al (2009). The effect of smoking prevalence at worksites on individual cessation behavior. J Occup Health, 51, 48-56.
  12. Oberoi SS, Sharma G, Nagpal A, et al (2014). Tobacco cessation in India: how can oral health professionals contribute? Asia Pac J Cancer Prev, 15, 2383-91.
  13. Pieterse ME, Seydel ER, DeVries H, et al (2001). Effectiveness of a minimal contact smoking cessation program for dutch general practitioners: a randomized controlled trial. Prev Med, 32, 182-90.
  14. Pimple S, Pednekar M, Majmudar P, et al (2012). An integrated approach to worksite tobacco use prevention and oral cancer screening among factory workers in mumbai, India. Asia Pac J Cancer Prev, 13, 527-32.
  15. Sinclair HK, Bond CM, Stead LF (2004). Community pharmacy personnel interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 1, 003698.
  16. Stead LF, Bergson G, Lancaster T (2008). Physician advice for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2, 000165.
  17. Stead LF, Lancaster T (2012) Combined pharmacotherapy and behavioural interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 10, 008286.
  18. Tobacco use. Global Adult Tobacco Survey: Malaysia Report 2011, Ministry of health, government of Malaysia.
  19. Yasin SM, Taib KM, Zaki RA (2011). Reliability and construct validity of the bahasa Malaysia version of transtheoretical model (TTM) questionnaire for smoking cessation and relapse among Malaysian adult smokers. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 12, 1439-43.
  20. Yasin SM, Retneswari M, Foong MM, et al (2011). Smokers can quit regardless of motivation stage in a worksite smoking cessation programme in Malaysia. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 12, 2193-8.
  21. Zhu WH, Yang L, Jiang CQ, et al (2010). Characteristics of smokers and predictors of quitting in a smoking cessation clinic in Guangzhou, China. J Public Health. 32, 267-76.

Cited by

  1. Effectiveness of Tobacco Education for Pharmacy Students in Indonesia vol.15, pp.24, 2015,
  2. A Meta-Analysis of Brief Tobacco Interventions for Use in Integrated Primary Care pp.1469-994X, 2017,
  3. Proactive outreach smoking cessation program for Chinese employees in China pp.2154-4700, 2017,
  4. Evaluation of the effectiveness of a WHO-5A model based comprehensive tobacco control program among migrant workers in Guangdong, China: a pilot study vol.18, pp.1, 2018,
  5. Psychometric Evaluation of the Short Form of Situational Temptation Scale for Smoking Cessation among Iranian Workers Based on Transtheoretical Model vol.In Press, pp.In Press, 2018,