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Ever advise a hospitalized patient to cut out smoking? He may have taken your advice to heart. A review of 31 studies involving 12,000 smokers found that adults who received advice and encouragement from nurses about smoking cessation had a better chance of quitting compared with those who didn't.


The studies, all randomized trials, varied widely in sample size, type of intervention, and degree of nurse involvement. Some interventions were low-intensity, involving a single 10-minute consultation with a single follow-up session. High-intensity interventions included longer consultations and provision of written materials and follow-up care.


Among smokers who didn't receive any cessation intervention, less than 3% quit. Among those who received advice from nurses, 15% to 20% quit. Researchers concluded that nurses' advice and support can help patients successfully stop smoking, particularly when provided in a hospital setting. Similar advice given by nurses in other settings seemed less effective, yet still worthwhile.

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Rice VF, Stead LF, Nursing interventions for smoking cessation (review), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 1.