New York: Talking to a trained nurse might help smokers to quit smoking, a study has found.
The research shows that self-reported quit rates increased when nurses and other staff members were trained to coach patients on how to stop smoking.
“Hospitalisation is the perfect time to help people quit. They are more motivated and nurses can explain how smoking harms their health, including slowing healing,” said Sonia Duffy, Professor at The Ohio State University in the study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The study looked at the quit rates of 1,528 patients, who were discharged from the hospital after six months.
Those who had been treated met with a nurse who had undergone a one-hour training on how to help people quit smoking.
Six months after release, 16.5 per cent of the smokers from the intervention hospitals said they did quit, compared to 5.7 per cent from other hospitals.
The researchers also looked at lab-confirmed quit rates based on urine tests and found a two-fold difference among patients from intervention hospitals, but that data was not considered statistically significant.
According to the study, many smokers, even those who plan to quit, start smoking the minute they leave the hospital. Getting them started with a quitting plan while they are admitted to hospitals boosts their chances of success.
“I hope hospital administrators will look beyond telephone quit lines to help people. Nurses have the greatest access to patients, they have relationships with patients and they can relate the benefits of quitting to the patient’s medical condition,” Duffy added.