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Stop Smoking, Start Living

South Eastern Sydney Local Health District

  • Translational Research Grants Scheme
Date Funded:
  • 1 July, 2022
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Associate Professor Patrick Bolton

Project Summary

Tobacco smoking is a leading cause of death and illness. This project implements and evaluates a program to support smokers in hospital to stop.

The main researcher for this project is Associate Professor Patrick Bolton.

What is the issue for NSW?

In 2019 11.6% of adults in NSW smoked tobacco. Rates are higher among those admitted to hospital and disadvantaged groups. Smoking damages people’s health, increases their financial stress, contributes to cycles of poverty and erodes their quality of life. Around 6,700 deaths and more than 62,900 hospitalisations were attributed to smoking in NSW in 2018.

Hospitalisation provides an opportunity to intervene to stop smoking. Interventions to reduce tobacco use have been demonstrated to be effective and potentially cost-effective in study settings of the general population. These methods must be tested to determine whether they can be integrated into daily practice across the hospital system.

Smoking cessation strategies are less effective and less well understood for disadvantaged groups, despite their greater risk. More effective strategies are required to address the needs of these groups.

What does the research aim to do and how?

This project aims to increase the rate at which health workers offer smoking cessation strategies to smokers admitted to hospital. These strategies include nicotine replacement therapy and a phone-based app. We will measure the rate at which staff offer these techniques to smokers, and the number who stop smoking as a result. We will also talk to staff, and to patients from disadvantaged groups, about how they found participating in this intervention and how it might be improved. We will use this information to improve the interventions and argue for their widespread use.

The project will assess:

  • Self-reported smoking rate at 6 months
  • The experience of members of high-risk groups using the intervention
  • The effectiveness of the methods used with staff to support them to intervene with smoking patients.