Recent findings suggest that smokers who are hospitalized experience significant craving for cigarettes. Thus, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) may be a particularly important tool for use during hospitalization. The goal of this study is to evaluate the utilization of the transdermal nicotine patch and/or nicotine gum by hospitalized smokers. The data represented in this article are from 580 smokers who participated in a study of a motivational intervention for smoking cessation that was delivered during hospitalization. The primary outcome for this analysis was use of NRT during hospitalization. The results revealed that, among the entire sample, only 7.1% of the overall sample used NRT during hospitalization; 6% of the hospitalized smokers used the transdermal nicotine patch, and 1.1% used nicotine gum. Use of NRT was significantly greater among patients who reported that they were doing anything to help themselves quit smoking at the time of admission (OR = 4.1), those who were seriously planning to quit smoking within the next 30 days (OR = 2.36), those who were nicotine dependent (OR = 2.81), and those for whom a physician had ever offered to prescribe NRT (OR = 1.9). The finding that there is a very low rate of NRT use during hospitalization provides important information to hospital-based care providers and smoking cessation intervention planners. Barriers to NRT use among hospitalized patients should be identified, and strategies designed to maximize use when appropriate. The AHCPR Guideline on Smoking Cessation recommends routine use of NRT in health care settings. Further research is needed to determine why NRT use was so low. In addition, these data suggest that efforts to increase NRT use during hospitalization are needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health