An article recently appeared in the NY Times highlighting a study which looked at the number of hospitalized patients that continued to smoke during their hospital stay. The research conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston (2007-2010) included 5,000 current smokers who agreed to tobacco cessation counseling as a component of their inpatient care. The findings showed that 18% of the aforementioned smokers went outside to smoke while in the hospital. Earlier studies conducted on this topic found 25% of the patients continued to do so while at the hospital. Another important finding of the Massachusetts study is the intensity of the cravings were more important than the number of cigarettes smoked in determining if a patient would smoke while hospitalized. Be sure to read the full article, “When Hospital Patients Continue to Smoke.”
You may have noticed in recent newsletters that the Heart Network’s Tobacco Cessation Center has been working productively with primary care sites and hospitals as they include evidence based tobacco cessation prompts in their electronic health records. This study further highlights the importance of delivering consistent tobacco dependence treatment in all healthcare settings and reducing nicotine withdrawal symptoms of patients that want to stop smoking or tobacco users who are in settings, such as hospitals, that do not allow smoking. If you’re interested in the cessation center’s work please check out our e-news archives, the Tobacco Page of our website, or contact the Cessation Center directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-897-5980.
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