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Smoking cessation post‐discharge following nicotine replacement therapy use during an inpatient admission

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Background:  Cigarette smoking remains a health issue despite declining prevalence in Australia. The burden of tobacco‐related morbidity affects hospitals, particularly those in lower socioeconomic areas where prevalence is highest.

Aim:  We have shown that nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) use during hospitalization increases motivation to quit post‐discharge. We postulated that subjects using the nicotine patch post‐discharge, in comparison to the inhaler, would have higher rates of abstinence at 12 months after discharge. The aim was to compare the efficacy of the nicotine patch or inhaler formulation for cessation post‐discharge, following use during admission.

Methods:  Post‐discharge, subjects chose their preferred formulation (patch or inhaler) based on their experience with NRT during admission. Tailored, medium‐intensity support was provided with subsidized NRT during outpatient visits. Subjects were followed for 12 months. Exhaled breath CO confirmed non‐smoking.

Results:  Of 123 subjects enrolled, 37 elected to use the inhaler, 50 the patch and 36 no NRT. At 12 months continuous abstinence rates were 38%, 38% and 25% respectively.

Discussion:  This study built upon the ‘teachable moment’ provided by hospitalization and the inpatient use of NRT, encouraging cessation post‐discharge. Both NRT formulations provided similar 12 month cessation rates, and were superior to those achieved by subjects electing not to use NRT. Although the patch was the most popular formulation, the inhaler provided an equally efficacious alternative which addressed other facets of cigarette addiction. Subjects electing not to use NRT were less successful.

Continuous abstinence rates were equivalent to community‐based studies using NRT. We recommend a similar programme to other hospitals.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Respiratory Unit 2: Pharmacy Department, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woodville South, South Australia, Australia

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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