The aim of the study is to determine attitudes and self-reported practices performance for smoking cessation counseling of the physicians working at a university hospital in Malatya. Turkey. All physicians who were providing health care to adult patients in 19 outpatient clinics at the hospital were administered a self-reported questionnaire. Of the physicians, 26.5% reported that they were always asking about their patients' smoking history and 22.6% were always advising their smoker patients to quit. Men non-smoker physicians more often practiced counseling than men smoker physicians. Negative attitudes of physicians about smoking cessation counseling negatively effected their practices. Negative attitudes were significantly higher among men smoker physicians than non-smokers but attitude's did not differ among female smoker and non-smoker physicians. The findings showed that smoking cessation counseling was rarely practiced by physicians and physicians' practices differed by their smoking behavior, departments and attitudes towards smoking cessation. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.