Researchers surveyed seven groups of health care professionals across the country.
Almost all of them did a good job asking patients if they smoke and telling them about the risks of smoking.
However, far fewer followed up with programs, plan or prescriptions to encourage smokers to break the habit.
The study also found that being asked about smoking by more than one health professional can increase the odds of a patient quitting.
The report is in this month's issue of Nicotine and Tobacco Research.