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J Hosp Med. 2010 Jan;5(1):26-32. doi: 10.1002/jhm.536.

Effect of clinician advice and patient preparedness to quit on subsequent quit attempts in hospitalized smokers.

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  • 1Program in Hospital Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.



Although smoking cessation counseling for cardiac inpatients is a quality measure, little data exist regarding postdischarge quit attempts in a primarily urban, African American, underserved population. This study aimed to assess preparedness to quit smoking and quit behaviors.


Smokers on the cardiology service were asked to rate preparedness using the 10-step Contemplation Ladder. During phone surveys given 30-days postdischarge, patients reported whether they made quit attempts, method and success of attempts, and recall of receiving advice to quit.


From February 2006 through July 2007, 2906 of 3364 of inpatients were interviewed. Fifteen percent (436/2906) were current smokers and 415/436 completed the inpatient assessment. Of these, 75% (310/415) indicated they were prepared to quit. At the 1-month follow-up, 67% (276/415) were interviewed and 71% of those patients (195/276) reported making a quit attempt, with most (76%) reporting quitting "cold turkey" (without aid). Compared with less prepared patients, prepared patients were more likely to report making a quit attempt after discharge (77% [163/212] vs. 50% [32/64], P < 0.001) and were successful in that attempt (43% [90/212] vs. 25% [16/64], P = 0.010).


The majority of smokers hospitalized with cardiac disease reported being prepared to quit smoking. Those prepared, and who received advice to quit, were more likely to make a quit attempt and report abstinence than those less prepared. However, most quit attempts were made using the least effective methods. Future studies in a population of primarily African American patients should assess preparedness to quit and target prepared patients with more effective interventions.

(c) 2010 Society of Hospital Medicine.

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