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Intensive support programs can help hospitalized smokers stay smoke-free
Date:10/13/2008

Hospital-sponsored stop-smoking programs for inpatients that include follow-up counseling for longer than one month significantly improve patients' ability to stay smoke-free. An analysis of clinical trials of programs offered at hospitals around the world finds that efforts featuring long-term support can increase participant's chances of success by 65 percent. The study led Nancy Rigotti, MD, director of the Tobacco Research and Treatment Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) appears in the October 13 Archives of Internal Medicine and is one of several articles focused on smoking.

"While nobody looks forward to a hospital stay, it can really have an extra benefit for smokers" says Rigotti. "But this is only if the hospital helps them quit with counseling during and after their hospital stay. Hospitals really need to stop up to the plate and offer this type of service routinely, and it also should be reimbursed by payors."

Entering the hospital poses a special challenge for smokers, since all U.S. hospitals are now smoke-free, but it also can offer those ready to quit an important opportunity. Both the inability to smoke during their hospital stay and a determination to recover from their illness, particularly if it is tobacco-related, can encourage smokers to begin a serious effort to kick the habit. Many hospitals offer stop-smoking help to their patients, but questions remain about whether those programs are successful. The current study analyzed the results of 33 clinical trials of hospital-based programs in nine countries 3 done at MGH conducted between 1999 and 2007.

Analyzing hospital-based efforts according to their intensity a single brief smoking-related contact, one or more extended contacts during hospitalization, hospital contact plus a month or less of post-discharge telephone support, and hospital contact followed by more than a month of post-discharge support revealed that only programs
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Contact: Emily Parker
eparker2@partners.org
617-724-6425
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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