Harvard Mental Health Letter

In brief: Post-discharge counseling helps hospitalized smokers quit

In brief

Post-discharge counseling helps hospitalized smokers quit

A review of hospital-based stop-smoking programs in nine countries concluded that only the programs that continued after inpatient treatment ended enable patients to remain smoke-free.

Dr. Nancy Rigotti, director of the Tobacco Research and Treatment Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, collaborated with two colleagues to analyze 33 clinical trials of interventions conducted between 1999 and 2007. Programs were divided into four categories, ranging from a single brief contact in the hospital to a program involving counseling that extended beyond the inpatient stay.

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