Background: Factors associated with compliance with smoke-free policies among hospitalized smokers are poorly described. A better understanding of these factors may improve smoking cessation during admission and in the long-term.
Methods: Two cross-sectional studies were conducted in an urban teaching hospital in Spain during 2002 and 2004. We interviewed 229 admitted smokers gathering data on smoking history, admission diagnosis, belief that hospitalization is related to smoking, policy's awareness, and smoking during admission and place of smoking.
Results: Among hospitalized patients, approximately a third were current smokers. The compliance with the nonsmoking policy in 2002 and 2004 was respectively 71.9% (IC95%: 63.9-79.9) and 60.1% (IC95%: 50.9-69.3). In the multivariate regression model, factors significantly associated with compliance were: contemplation stage, confidence in quitting after discharge, belief that current symptoms or illness were related to smoking, and mild withdrawal symptoms.
Conclusions: Admission in a smoke-free hospital does not guarantee that patients will refrain from smoking. Factors associated with compliance identified may be modified by tailored smoking cessation interventions. Our results might help physicians to understand inpatients' difficulties to abstain from cigarettes and enhance their efforts to take advantage of the hospitalization as a window opportunity to quit.