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Smoking Cessation In Hospitals May Decrease Smoking Rates Significantly

Update Date: Nov 11, 2014 10:01 AM EST

Ensuring smoking cessation is offered routinely while smokers are in hospital could help cut smoking rates significantly, according to a new study. 

Clinicians should make better use of opportunities to help people quit smoking when people are in hospitals in England for the 2.6million episodes of care that take place every year for smokers, the study suggested. 

According to estimates, around 460,000 adults admissions take place every year due to smoking. Treating diseases caused by smoking costs the NHS more than £5 billion per year, about 5% of its annual budget, despite the fact that smoking is preventable and treatable, the press release added. 

 "Implementation of current NICE guidance to deliver smoking cessation interventions as a routine component of secondary care provision could have a major impact on the prevalence of smoking, and hence on the morbidity and mortality that smoking causes," researchers concluded. 

The authors said that their findings demonstrate that providing intensive smoking cessation help to smokers treated as inpatients in hospitals had the potential to reach 1.1 million smokers each year; and hence to prevent hundreds of thousands of premature deaths.

"Smokers who are admitted to hospital include some of the poorest members of our society. This study shows that the NHS is missing regular opportunities to transform their lives through simple yet highly cost-effective measures to help them stop smoking," said a  British Thoracic Society spokesman in the press release.

"The health services regulators (CQC and Monitor) need to hold hospital chief executives to account and stop them ignoring the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommendations to help people admitted to hospital to quit smoking."

The study was published in the journal Thorax

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