Success of a Tobacco Cessation Program for Parents at a Children's Hospital

Respir Care. 2020 Apr;65(4):407-412. doi: 10.4187/respcare.06810. Epub 2020 Feb 18.


Background: Children are most affected by passive smoke and least able to avoid it. The Tobacco Dependence Program was developed to help reduce first-, second-, and thirdhand smoke exposure to our patients while they are in the hospital.

Methods: The Tobacco Dependence Program consists of a director, 3 coordinators, and 15 team members certified as tobacco treatment specialists. The program is offered to any admitted patient or his or her caregiver(s). We support participants whether their goal is to quit smoking or to abstain during the hospitalization. We provide weekly counseling and free over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy for the entire duration of the hospitalization. The inclusion criterion for caregivers is a 7-d minimum stay. In-patients are automatically eligible. Before discharge, we provide a referral to an out-patient program.

Results: As of March 2019, we enrolled 138 participants, 5% were in-patients. Fifty-five percent had children who were critically ill and in the ICU: pediatric ICU/progressive care unit (PCU) 28%, neonatal ICU 19%, cardiac ICU (CICU) 9%. The ethnicity of the participants was predominately white (56%), followed by African American (33%), Hispanic (12%), and Asian (<1%). Fifty-six percent of the participants were female. Fifty-nine percent of the participants began smoking between the ages of 12 and 18 y, 21% began between the ages of 18 and 25 y, 9% began before the age of 12 y, and 7% between the ages of 25 and 35 y. Fifty percent of the survey respondents stated that they were able to quit before discharge.

Conclusions: The Tobacco Dependence Program offers support to families as they begin the cessation process and provide the tools to continue a smoke-free lifestyle after discharge. The program is feasible and welcomed to assist patients and families in this process.

Keywords: counseling; pediatrics; smoking cessation; tobacco cessation.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Pediatric*
  • Hospitals, Private
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents*
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects
  • Tobacco Use Cessation*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / therapy*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution