Helping patients to stop smoking is an important activity for physicians. This process begins with counseling, a skill that requires the ability to evaluate the patient's readiness to quit and to motivate patients into effective action. Despite the importance of this activity, physicians usually do not receive training in the best counseling methods. When they do, the programs usually involve lectures rather than active participation in learning. In fact, medical educators have little evidence to guide them in designing programs to teach physicians how to counsel smokers who want to quit.