- Background: Cigarette smoking is a major contributor to the risk of acute myocardial infarction and the subsequent morbidity and mortality. Physicians can play an important role in smoking cessation among patients with AMI because of their frequent contact with the patient during the event Objectives: To study the prevalence of smoking, age, localization of coronary occlusion, mortality and rate of smoking cessation in consecutive patients who were diagnosed with a first AMI in our center in 1989–93. Methods: The study included 1,510 consecutive patients with first AMI: 973 men (512 smokers, 52.6%) and 537 women (215 smokers, 40%), whose mean age was 64.1±6.7 and 68.6±5.2 years respectively. Results: The median age at the first AMI in nonsmoking and smoking men differed significantly (70.4±6.8 vs. 56.6±6.1 years, P<0.001) while the difference in the women was smaller (70.4±6.9 vs. 66.8±7.2). The proportion of smokers/non-smokers among men was greater at a younger age and decreased proportionally with age. The overall mortality was 11.3% with a significant difference in mortality rate in the younger age groups between smokers and non-smokers (1% vs. 0% in the age group 31–40 years, P<0.05, and 6.1% vs. 0.8% in the 41–50 year age group, P<0.001). Only 62% of the smokers who survived the AMI declared that they had received anti-smoking advice from a physician during hospitalization. The cessation rate in this group was significantly higher than in smokers who had not been cautioned against smoking (56% vs. 18%). Conclusions: Current smokers sustained their first AMI more than one decade earlier than non-smokers, and the younger smokers had a higher mortality rate. The majority of the smokers who received anti-smoking advice during their hospitalization for AMI quit smoking in the year following the acute event.