Purpose: To compare an intensive smoking cessation intervention against usual care in hospitalized high-risk smokers with acute cardiovascular disease.
Methods: A total of 209 hospitalized smokers were randomized to the intensive intervention (n = 109) or to usual care (n = 100). Usual care consisted only of counseling and printed educational material provided prior to hospital discharge. Intensive treatment consisted of a minimum of 12 weeks of behavior modification counseling and individualized pharmacotherapy provided at no cost to the participant. Smoking status in all subjects was confirmed biochemically (ie, by measuring expired carbon monoxide) at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months after randomization. Outcomes included point prevalence and continuous abstinence smoking cessation rates, hospitalizations, and all-cause mortality.
Results: At each follow-up interval, point prevalence and continuous abstinence smoking cessation rates were significantly greater in the intensive-treatment group compared to the usual-care group. At 24 months, continuous abstinence smoking cessation rates were 33% in the intensive-treatment group and 9% in the usual-care group (p < 0.0001). Over the 2-year follow-up period, 41 patients in the usual-care group were hospitalized compared to 25 patients in the intensive-treatment group (relative risk reduction [RRR], 44%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 16 to 63%; p = 0.007). The all-cause mortality rate was 2.8% in the intensive-treatment group and 12.0% in the usual-care group (RRR, 77%; 95% CI, 27 to 93%; p = 0.014). The absolute risk reduction in mortality was 9.2% with a number needed to treat of 11.
Conclusion: Hospitalized smokers, especially those with cardiovascular disease, should undergo treatment with a structured intensive cessation intervention. The duration of the initial treatment should be 3 months.