Smoking abstinence after hospitalization: predictors of success

Prev Med. 2004 Dec;39(6):1087-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.04.054.


Background: Our objective was to explore the relationship between baseline characteristics of hospitalized smokers and 6-month to 2-year self-reported quit rates.

Methods: We surveyed adult smokers (n = 154) admitted to the Medicine service of an urban public hospital. We used the pharmacy database, a follow-up telephone survey, and medical records to characterize nicotine patch use and post-discharge smoking abstinence.

Results: Among the 102 patients for whom smoking status at least 6 months after discharge was known, 18 (18%) were not smoking at last contact (mean follow-up 20 months). Individual factors associated with quitting include confidence to quit within 1 week, stage of change other than precontemplation, filling a nicotine patch prescription after discharge, number of previous quit attempts, and increasing age. With multivariate modeling, only confidence to quit [OR 9.8, confidence interval (CI), 2.8-35.0] and the number of previous quit attempts (OR 1.3 per attempt, 95% CI, 1.0-1.5) remained significantly associated with future abstinence.

Conclusions: A high level of confidence to quit and multiple prior quit attempts are strongly associated with future abstinence among hospitalized patients who smoke. Using a simple confidence-to-quit scale to target interventions to patients with high confidence may improve the effectiveness of smoking cessation programs.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Hospitals, Urban
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Urban Population