We investigated prevalence of and knowledge about tobacco use among physicians, and their counselling of patients in the Odessa region (Ukraine). Paediatricians (40), family doctors (40) and interns (70) were selected from the physician population of the Odessa region. The proportion of smokers was unacceptably high for health care professionals: paediatricians, 32.5%; family doctors, 37.5%; and interns, 50%. Majority of smokers were men. Less than half of smokers had considered quitting or seriously attempted to quit. Interns least frequently asked their patients about smoking (52.5 vs. 80% paediatricians and 72.5% family doctors). Ukrainian universities need to better educate medical students on tobacco control measures.