The association between physician trust and smoking cessation: Implications for motivational interviewing

John Z. Benton, Atul Lodh, Archibald M. Watson, Martha S. Tingen, Martha K. Terris, Christopher J.D. Wallis, Zachary Klaassen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Although the relationship between cigarette smoking and increased risk of malignancy has been well established, smoking remains a major public health threat in the United States. Therefore, we examined the relationship between a person's level of trust in cancer information from their physician and the likelihood of quitting smoking in order to better understand the doctor-patient relationship in the context of smoking cessation. The Health Information Nation Trends Survey (2011–2015) was used to identify smokers (n = 2186). Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between trust in physicians, the internet, and family members on smoking cessation, accounting for demographic variables. Smokers reported a significantly higher level of trust in cancer information from their physician than cancer information from the internet or family members. However, no significant association between level of trust in cancer information from their physician and wanting to quit smoking was observed (ptrend = 0.55). There was also no association between level of trust in the internet or family and quitting smoking (ptrend = 0.52 and ptrend = 0.83, respectively). These results were confirmed by multivariate analysis. Smoking cessation is not associated with the level of trust an individual has in cancer information from their physician, the internet, or from family members. These findings may impact the utility of standardized information campaigns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106075
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - Jun 2020



  • Physician trust
  • Smoking
  • Smoking cessation
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this