Hospitalised smokers are often highly motivated to quit and receptive to assistance. There are few published accounts of hospital-based smoking cessation programmes implemented outside of a trial setting, particularly outside North America. We describe the implementation and effectiveness of a dedicated smoking cessation service in Freiburg, Germany.

Measures of implementation (e.g. number of patients referred and consenting to participate, receipt of post-discharge support) and effectiveness are presented.

In the first 2 years of the service, 1432 patients were referred. Over half (55.3%) of counselled smokers agreed to participate. Sustained abstinence for 6 months was achieved by 28.0% (missing cases coded as smokers), whereas 7-day point prevalence rates were between 30 and 35% at 3, 6 and 12 months. Those who received 4+ post-discharge calls were more likely to achieve sustained abstinence, as were older smokers, those with higher self-efficacy, and cardiovascular patients.

Hospitalised patients in Germany are receptive to the offer of bedside counselling and to phone support post-discharge, and success rates are comparable to those achieved in other countries.

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