Screening for adolescent smoking among primary care physicians in California

Merula Franzgrote, Jonathan M. Ellen, Susan G. Millstein, Charles E. Irwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objectives. This study determined how often primary care physicians ask adolescents about smoking. Methods. We surveyed a stratified random sample of community-based, board-certified California physicians, using a mailed questionnaire. Results. Overall, physicians (n = 343; 77%, response rate) screened younger adolescents for regular smoking during 71.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 67.9, 74.9) of routine physical exams and older adolescents during 84.8% (95% CI = 82.3, 87.4) of such visits. For acute-care visits, the screening rates were 24.4% (95% CI = 20.6, 28.1) for younger and 40.2% (95% CI = 36.4, 44.0) for older adolescents. Physicians asked 18.2% (95% CI = 15.2, 21.3) of younger and 35.6%, (95% CI = 32.0, 39.1) of older adolescents about experimental smoking. Screening varied by specialty. Conclusions. These data imply that physicians are missing opportunities to screen adolescents for smoking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1341-1345
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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