Which smokers enroll in a hospital based smoking cessation trial? Survey of smoking related behaviors, quit attempts, and motivation to quit

Rukshar K. Gobarani, Gregory R. Weeks, Michael J. Abramson, Billie Bonevski, Eldho Paul, Ashley Webb, Sue Kirsa, Brian J. Smith, Dennis Thomas, Sharmilla Perinpanathan, Jacqueline Parkinson, Darshana Meanger, Lisa Coward, Olivia Rofe, Paula Lee, Johnson George

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Background: Understanding smoking behaviors in hospital patients who smoke may improve inpatient cessation treatments. This study aimed to describe smoking-related behaviors, past-quit attempts, and self-reported difficulties experienced in quitting among those who enrolled in a smoking cessation trial of varenicline. 

Methods: Baseline data were obtained from adult hospitalized smokers (average ≥ 10 cigarettes/day in 4-weeks prior to hospitalization) who enrolled in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of varenicline ± nicotine lozenges at five Australian public hospitals. A logistic regression model tested the association between participant characteristics and quitting in the previous 12 months.

Results: Participants' (n = 320; 57% male, 52.5 ± 12.1 years old) motivation and confidence in quitting were high. A total of 120 participants (37.5%) had attempted quitting in the previous 12-months. Prior hospitalization (P =.008) and employment status (P =.015) were significantly associated with past quit attempts. No statistically significant differences were noted in the reason for hospitalization or the level of nicotine dependence between participants who attempted quitting in the previous 12 months and their counterparts. Smoking cessation pharmacotherapy was used by 55% of those attempting to quit; nicotine replacement therapy (65.2%) and varenicline (16.7%) most common. Stress or anxiety, urges to smoke and a lack of motivation were the difficulties experienced in past quit attempts. 

Conclusions: Those who had a prior hospitalization and were unemployed had significantly greater odds of reporting past quit attempts. Further research is needed to investigate the degree of adherence among inpatient smokers with the smoke-free hospital policies and the frequency of NRT provision and uptake on admission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-428
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Issue number2
Early online date5 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Hospitalization
  • smoking cessation
  • varenicline


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