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Hospital Good Starting Point for Smoking Cessation

Rewarding clinics increases likelihood of referrals to quitting help lines

TUESDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Pay-for-performance programs increase the referral rate to smoking cessation programs, and smoking cessation programs that are initiated in hospital help smokers quit, according to three studies published in the Oct. 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Lawrence C. An, M.D., of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues compared 24 clinics that were rewarded to refer patients to a smoking cessation program with 25 clinics that did not receive a reward for referrals, and found that the former referred 11.4 percent of smokers while the latter referred only 4.2 percent of smokers.

Nancy A. Rigotti, M.D., of Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues found that counseling hospitalized smokers was effective if support for quitting smoking continued for at least a month after discharge, while Nazeera Dawood, M.D., of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues investigated the impact of hospital-based smoking cessation programs on myocardial infarction patients. They found that those treated at a facility with an inpatient smoking cessation program were more likely to quit smoking and remain not smoking at the six-month mark, and that depressed patients were less likely to quit smoking.

"Such programs appear to be underutilized in current clinical practice and may be a valuable structural measure in health care quality," Dawood and colleagues write. "Moreover, smoking cessation programs should likely incorporate screening for and treating depressive disorders."

An author of the second study reports a financial relationship with the pharmaceutical industry. The third study was supported by CV Therapeutics and an author discloses a financial relationship with the company.

Abstract - An
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Abstract - Rigotti
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Abstract - Dawood
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