If Delivered Systematically, In-Hospital Smoking Cessation Strategies Are Effective


Clinical question: Do programs that systematically provide smoking cessation support to admitted patients improve smoking cessation rates?

Background: Hospitalization is a good setting for initiation of smoking cessation. It is well known that conventional behavioral and pharmacotherapy interventions are effective. Intensive behavioral intervention provided to willing hospitalized patients is known to be useful; however, there is no established systematic delivery of these interventions.

Study design: Open, cluster-randomized, controlled trial.

Setting: Acute medical wards in a large teaching hospital in the United Kingdom.

Synopsis: More than 1,000 patients admitted between October 2010 and August 2011 were eligible for the study, of which 264 were included in the intervention and 229 in the usual care group (determination of smoking status and non-obligatory offer of cessation support). All of those in intervention received advice to quit smoking, compared to only 46% in the usual care group. Four-week smoking cessation was achieved by 38% of patients from the intervention group, compared to 17% from the usual care group. Secondary outcomes (use of behavioral cessation support, pharmacotherapy, and referral to and use of the local stop smoking service) were all significantly higher in the intervention group compared to the usual care group (P<0.001 in all cases).

This study shows that simple measures, when systematically delivered, are effective in initiating smoking cessation.

Bottom line: In-hospital systematic delivery of smoking cessation strategies is effective.

Citation: Murray RL, Leonardi-Bee J, Marsh J, et al. Systematic identification and treatment of smokers by hospital based cessation practitioners in a secondary care setting: cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2013;347:f4004.

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