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Nicotine Tob Res. 2018 Nov 21. doi: 10.1093/ntr/nty252. [Epub ahead of print]

Evaluation of a Systems-Based Tobacco Cessation Program Using Bedside Volunteers.

Author information

Acute Medicine, Christiana Care Health System, Newark, DE.
Value Institute, Christiana Care Health System, Newark, DE.
College of Health Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE.
Center for Heart & Vascular Health, Christiana Care Health System, Newark, DE.
Volunteer Services, Christiana Care Health System, Newark, DE.



Hospitalization and post-discharge provides an opportune time for tobacco cessation. This study tested the feasibility, uptake, and cessation outcomes of a hospital-based tobacco cessation program, delivered by volunteers to the bedside with post-discharge referral to Quitline services. Patient characteristics associated with Quitline uptake and cessation were assessed.


Between February and November 2016, trained hospital volunteers approached inpatient tobacco users on six pilot units. Volunteers shared a cessation brochure and used the ASK-ADVISE-CONNECT model to connect ready-to-quit patients to the Delaware Quitline via fax-referral. Volunteers administered a follow-up survey to all admitted tobacco users via telephone or email at 3-months post-discharge.


Of the 743 admitted tobacco users, 531 (72%) were visited by a volunteer, and 97% (531/547) of those approached, accepted the visit. Over one third (201/531; 38%) were ready-to-quit and fax-referred to the Quitline, and 36% of those referred accepted Quitline services. At 3-months post discharge, 37% (135/368) reported not using tobacco in the last 30 days; intent-to-treat cessation rate was 18% (135/743). In a multivariable regression model of Quitline fax-referral completion, receiving NRT during hospitalization was the strongest predictor (OR: 1.97; 95% CI: 1.34-2.90). In a model of 3-month cessation, receiving Quitline services (OR: 3.21, 95%CI: 1.35-7.68) and having coronary artery disease (OR: 2.28; 95% CI: 1.11-4.68) were associated with tobacco cessation, but a volunteer visit was not.


An "opt-out" tobacco cessation service using trained volunteers is feasible for connecting patients to Quitline services.


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