AIM To investigate whether participation in a clinical audit and education session would improve GP management of patients who smoke. METHODS GPs who participated in an associated smoking cessation research program were invited to complete a three-stage clinical audit. This process included a retrospective self-audit of smoking cessation management practices over the 6 months prior to commencing the study, attending a 2.5 hour education session about GP management of smoking cessation, and completion of a second retrospective self-audit 6 months later. Twenty-eight GPs completed the full audit and education process, providing information about their smoking cessation management with 1114 patients. The main outcome measure was changes in GP management of smoking cessation with patients across the audit period, as measured by the clinical audit tool. RESULTS The majority of GPs (57%) indicated that as a result of the audit process they had altered their approach to the management of patients who smoke. Quantitative analyses confirmed significant increases in various forms of evidence-based smoking cessation management practices to assist patients to quit, or maintain quitting across the audit period. However comparative analyses of patient data challenged these findings, suggesting that the clinical audit process had less impact on GP practice than suggested in GP's self-reported audit data. CONCLUSION This study provides some support for the combined use of self-auditing, feedback and education to improve GP management of smoking cessation. However further research is warranted to examine GP- and patient-based reports of outcomes from clinical audit and other educational interventions.