One hundred and sixty-seven individuals with chronic conditions were interviewed about their smoking history and current habits as part of two larger studies on health care. The interviews were lengthy and permitted individuals to comment freely on reasons for stopping or continuing smoking and the role of doctors' advice in these decisions. Only 22 per cent had never smoked. The youngest and males were most likely to have smoked. At time of interview, 51 per cent of those who had ever smoked were still smoking. Those with circulatory disorders, in contrast to respiratory or musculoskeletal disorders, were most likely to have stopped. Perceptions of doctors' advice varied by both age and diagnosis, with the elderly claiming to have received little medical advice. Those with histories of circulatory disorders reported receiving advice more frequently. Doctors may have advised these individuals more frequently because there was threat to life, but it is also possible that individuals with life-threatening disorders are more likely to recall such advice.