Smoking Prevalence, Knowledge and Perceptions on Tobacco Control Among Healthcare Professionals: A Survey in an Italian Cancer Center

2020-08-13

Smoking is recognized as the major cause of lung cancer. Healthcare professionals play an important role in lung cancer prevention policies, as they act as a source of guidance for patients and advocates. The following survey evaluated prevalence, knowledge, and attitudes toward tobacco smoking among a sample of workers in “IRCCS Istituto Tumori “Giovanni Paolo II” of Bari, an Italian cancer hospital. An anonymous questionnaire was completed by 104 healthcare professionals to collect personal and occupational data about smoking status, knowledge about the harms of smoking, current legislation in place, Second-Hand Smoke (SHS) awareness, and, for ex-smokers, the reasons for quitting. Among participants, 17.8% were current smokers, 26.2% former smokers, and 56% never smoked. Only 40% acknowledged that the smoking ban is generally respected, and 63.2% reported that they smoke during working hours. Most of the participants perceived tobacco control policy as an efficient way to protect public health. Currently, the implementation of Italian anti-smoking legislation has so far improved neither smoking cessation rates nor the will to quit smoking completely. Our experience highlights that to date the anti-smoking strategies have limited efficacy even in a cancer center; in fact, there is still a large prevalence of smokers among hospital personnel. Therefore, it is strongly suggested that interventions be shared with all healthcare workers, specifically aimed at developing a culture of health promotion.

Authors: Daniela Bafunno, Annamaria Catino, Vito Lamorgese, Vito Longo, Michele Montrone, Francesco Pesola, Pamela Pizzutilo, Patrizia Petrillo, Niccolò Varesano, Antonella Zacheo, Gabriella Del Bene, Vittoria Lapadula, Angelica Mastrandrea, Donata Ricci, Alessandra Di Lauro, Sandro Cassiano, Domenico Galetta
; Full Source: Journal of community health 2020 Aug 13. doi: 10.1007/s10900-020-00907-8.