Smoking contributes to many health problems including cancers, cardiovascular disease and lung diseases. Smoking also increases the risk associated with hospitalisation for surgery. People who are in hospital because of a smoking-related illness are likely to be more receptive to help to give up smoking. Our review of fifty trials found that effective programmes to stop smoking are those that begin during a hospital stay and include counselling with follow-up support for at least one month after discharge. Such programmes are effective when administered to all hospitalised smokers, regardless of the reason why they were admitted to hospital, and in the subset of smokers who are admitted to hospital with cardiovascular disease. Adding nicotine replacement therapy to a counselling program increases the success rate of a program for hospitalised smokers.
High intensity behavioural interventions that begin during a hospital stay and include at least one month of supportive contact after discharge promote smoking cessation among hospitalised patients. The effect of these interventions was independent of the patient's admitting diagnosis and was found in rehabilitation settings as well as acute care hospitals. There was no evidence of effect for interventions of lower intensity or shorter duration. This update found that adding NRT to intensive counselling significantly increases cessation rates over counselling alone. There is insufficient direct evidence to conclude that adding bupropion or varenicline to intensive counselling increases cessation rates over what is achieved by counselling alone.
Smoking contributes to reasons for hospitalisation, and the period of hospitalisation may be a good time to provide help with quitting.
To determine the effectiveness of interventions for smoking cessation that are initiated for hospitalised patients.
We searched the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group register which includes papers identified from CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycINFO in December 2011 for studies of interventions for smoking cessation in hospitalised patients, using terms including (hospital and patient*) or hospitali* or inpatient* or admission* or admitted.
Randomized and quasi-randomized trials of behavioural, pharmacological or multicomponent interventions to help patients stop smoking, conducted with hospitalised patients who were current smokers or recent quitters (defined as having quit more than one month before hospital admission). The intervention had to start in the hospital but could continue after hospital discharge. We excluded studies of patients admitted to facilities that primarily treat psychiatric disorders or substance abuse, studies that did not report abstinence rates and studies with follow-up of less than six months. Both acute care hospitals and rehabilitation hospitals were included in this update, with separate analyses done for each type of hospital.
Two authors extracted data independently for each paper, with disagreements resolved by consensus.
Fifty trials met the inclusion criteria. Intensive counselling interventions that began during the hospital stay and continued with supportive contacts for at least one month after discharge increased smoking cessation rates after discharge (risk ratio (RR) 1.37, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.27 to 1.48; 25 trials). A specific benefit for post-discharge contact compared with usual care was found in a subset of trials in which all participants received a counselling intervention in the hospital and were randomly assigned to post-discharge contact or usual care. No statistically significant benefit was found for less intensive counselling interventions. Adding nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to an intensive counselling intervention increased smoking cessation rates compared with intensive counselling alone (RR 1.54, 95% CI 1.34 to 1.79, six trials). Adding varenicline to intensive counselling had a non-significant effect in two trials (RR 1.28, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.74). Adding bupropion did not produce a statistically significant increase in cessation over intensive counselling alone (RR 1.04, 95% CI 0.75 to 1.45, three trials). A similar pattern of results was observed in a subgroup of smokers admitted to hospital because of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In this subgroup, intensive intervention with follow-up support increased the rate of smoking cessation (RR 1.42, 95% CI 1.29 to 1.56), but less intensive interventions did not. One trial of intensive intervention including counselling and pharmacotherapy for smokers admitted with CVD assessed clinical and health care utilization endpoints, and found significant reductions in all-cause mortality and hospital readmission rates over a two-year follow-up period. These trials were all conducted in acute care hospitals. A comparable increase in smoking cessation rates was observed in a separate pooled analysis of intensive counselling interventions in rehabilitation hospitals (RR 1.71, 95% CI 1.37 to 2.14, three trials).