Results of a specific smoking cessation program for patients with arthritis in a rheumatology clinic

Rheumatol Int. 2014 Jan;34(1):93-9. doi: 10.1007/s00296-013-2851-8. Epub 2013 Sep 5.


The purpose of this study is to evaluate an intervention program in smoker patients. We selected consecutive active smoker patients with rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, or connective tissue diseases. The intervention consisted of the following: (1) a baseline visit, which included verbal and written advice by the rheumatologist, emphasizing the practical benefits of smoking cessation. Patients completed a questionnaire that included smoking dependence tests and previous attempts to quit. (2) A follow-up visit to the nurse in the 3rd month for reinforcement and the receiving of pharmacological treatment to help patients quit smoking. The primary outcome was total abstinence in the last 7 days of a phone interview at 3, 6, and 12 months. The secondary outcome was a reduction in cigarette consumption by at least 50%. A total of 945 patients were screened. About 185 (19.5%) were current smokers, and 152 were included for intervention. In the previous 5 years, the mean annual withdrawal rate was 4.6%. The smoking cessation rate was 11.8, 14.4, and 15.7% at 3, 6, and 12 months (OR compared with previous cessation rate 3.8 (CI 95% 1.8-8.1)). Twenty-nine patients (19%) reduced ≥50% of the cigarette consumption at 12 months. The linear regression analysis showed that a score of less dependence (p = 0.03) and previous attempts to quit smoking (p = 0.04) were significantly associated with definitive smoking cessation at 12 months. One out of six patients quit smoking with the aid of an educational program which included verbal and written advice by the rheumatologist and the nurse. As far as we know, this is the first interventional study in smoker patients with arthritis.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthritis / diagnosis
  • Arthritis / therapy*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Counseling
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Rheumatology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking Cessation* / methods
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Spain
  • Time Factors
  • Tobacco Use Cessation Devices
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / diagnosis
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult